Women’s Health Week feature – the challenge of pelvic floor disorders for women participating in sports and exercise

Jodie Dakic contributes to knowledge in women's health through the completion and submission of her thesis on pelvic floor disorders in exercising women.

Jodie Dakic completed a Bachelor of Physiotherapy with Honours at The University of Melbourne in 2002. Through her clinical career working with professional female athletes, she recognised the unique challenges that women face while participating in sports and exercise. Driven by a passion to empower women and help them overcome these barriers to sport and exercise, Jodie completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy at the University of Melbourne.

Jodie Dakic

Jodie combines her knowledge in the areas of pelvic floor and sports physiotherapy; practicing clinically and conducting research. Recently, Jodie submitted her PhD thesis at the University of Melbourne. Her thesis, titled Pelvic Floor Disorders in Exercising Women, investigated critical aspects of this emerging field. A survey of 4,500 symptomatic women found that one in two stopped playing sport or exercising secondary to pelvic floor symptoms. Her research also established pelvic floor screening and management practices specifically tailored to the unique demands of sports and exercise settings. Jodie recently presented her findings at the Continence Foundation of Australia National Conference on Incontinence and will present at the Sports Medicine Australia Conference in October.

As a member of the University of Melbourne, Women's Health Physiotherapy Research team, led by Associate Professor Helena Frawley, Jodie is grateful to collaborate with other researchers in the field; including Dr. Udari Colombage and Robyn Brennan who have also recently completed/submitted PHD Research investigating pelvic floor disorders, in women diagnosed with Breast and Gynaecological Cancer.

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport

Thesis Publication List:

  • Dakic, J., Hay-Smith, J., Cook, J., Lin, K.-Y., Calo, M., & Frawley, H. (2021). Effect of Pelvic Floor Symptoms on Women’s Participation in Exercise: a Mixed-Methods Systematic Review with Meta-analysis. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 51(7), 345-361. https://doi.org/10.2519/jospt.2021.10200.
  • Dakic, J. G., Cook, J., Hay-Smith, J., Lin, K. Y., & Frawley, H. (2021). Pelvic floor disorders stop women exercising: A survey of 4556 symptomatic women. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 24(12), 1211-217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2021.06.003.
  • Dakic, J. G., Cook, J., Hay-Smith, J., Lin, K.-Y., Ekegren, C., & Frawley, H. C. (2022). Pelvic Floor Symptoms Are an Overlooked Barrier to Exercise Participation: A Cross-Sectional Online Survey of 4556 Women Who Are Symptomatic. Physical Therapy, 102(3), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1093/ptj/pzab284
  • Dakic J.G, Hay-Smith J, Lin K-Y, Cook J, Frawley H. (2023) Experience of playing sport or exercising for women with pelvic floor symptoms: a qualitative study. Sports Medicine – Open, 9(25) https://doi.org/10.1186/s40798-023-00565-9.
  • Dakic, J., Hay-Smith, E. J., Cook, J., Lin, K.-Y., & Frawley, H. (2023). Screening for pelvic floor symptoms in exercising women: a survey of 636 health and exercise professionals. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 26(2), 80-86. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2023.01.008.
  • Dakic J.G, Hay-Smith J, Lin K-Y, Cook J, Frawley H. (2023). Women’s preferences for pelvic floor screening in sport and exercise: a mixed methods study integrating survey and interview data in Australian women. British Journal of Sports Medicine.http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2023-107017 (Accepted, in-press)