Nurse- And Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist-Led Bowel Training in Patients with Fecal Incontinence in a Tertiary Care Center

Arjan P. Visscher, Anna Leemeijer, Richelle J. F. Felt-Bersma

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Little is known about nurse- and pelvic floor physical therapist-led bowel training in fecal incontinence after previous conservative management has been deemed unsatisfactory. The objective of this study was to evaluate combined nurse- and physical therapist-led bowel training sessions in a tertiary care center. This was a prospective, cross-sectional study. All patients with fecal incontinence between 2015 and 2016 with and without previous conservative management were included. Combined conservative treatment was defined as the use of stool-bulking agents (psyllium fibers) with or without antidiarrheal medication (loperamide) in combination with biofeedback or pelvic floor muscle training. Questionnaires regarding fecal incontinence (Vaizey incontinence score) and quality of life (Short Form Health Survey-36) were used. A decrease in the Vaizey incontinence score of 5 or more points was deemed to be clinically significant. Vaizey incontinence scores in all 50 patients decreased from 14.7 (SD = 4.5) to 9.9 (SD = 4.8) at follow-up (p <.001). Forty percent of patients reported an improvement in their Vaizey incontinence score (change of 5 or more points). Improvement was noted in those with and without previous treatment. Quality of life improved significantly. The limitation of the study includes lack of a standardized treatment protocol. Fecal incontinence reduced after nurse- and physical therapist-led bowel training sessions in patients with and without previous treatment, increasing their quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
JournalGastroenterology Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fecal Incontinence/therapy
  • Humans
  • Pelvic Floor
  • Physical Therapists
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Tertiary Care Centers

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