OVERVIEW: Although fecal incontinence can be both emotionally and socially debilitating, the embarrassment associated with it is so great that it often prevents patients from seeking much needed help from their health care providers. Nursing care begins with case finding and continues through conservative management, which has greatly improved over the past 15 years. This article summarizes the strategies that have proven most effective in uncovering and combating this prevalent yet seldom acknowledged condition.
Keywords: defecation, diarrhea, fecal incontinence, feces, incontinence, incontinence of stool
This article summarizes the most effective strategies for combating this prevalent yet unacknowledged condition.
Donna Zimmaro Bliss is a professor at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, Minneapolis. Christine Norton is professor of clinical nursing innovation, Bucks New University, Uxbridge, and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London. Both are members of the International Consultation on Incontinence (ICI). Contact author: Donna Zimmaro Bliss, firstname.lastname@example.org. The fecal incontinence management algorithm discussed in this article was developed by the ICI committees and was based on an extensive literature review. The authors appreciate the contributions of the following fellow ICI members: Danielle Harari, Julie Lang, Pirkko Metsola, Janette Tries, and William E. Whitehead. The ICI covered travel expenses for one meeting of members but provided no honoraria for research or algorithm development. Donna Zimmaro Bliss has received speaking honoraria from Hollister Incorporated, a maker of products used in the treatment of fecal incontinence. Christine Norton has received speaking honoraria and research funding from Coloplast, a maker of products used in the treatment of fecal incontinence, and consultancy fees from Hollister Incorporated. This article has been reviewed and all potential or actual conflicts have been resolved.