Public Release:  Fecal incontinence and quality of life

World Journal of Gastroenterology

Fecal incontinence (FI) is a normal part of aging, or the perception that no treatment is available. Doctors may fail to comprehend patient hints about diarrhea and FI or may be reluctant to ask about fecal leakage, perhaps because of their own embarrassment or the perception that FI is a trivial concern.

A team led by Lynne Bartlett from James Cook University in Australia addressed this issue and their article is to be published on on July 14, 2009 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. The Fecal Incontinence Quality Of Life (FIQL) questionnaire, a disease-specific tool, was designed to evaluate the impact of FI on four aspects of patients' QOL: lifestyle; coping behavior; depression or self perception; and level of embarrassment. Each aspect is described as a score measured on a scale between 1 and 4, where 1 is very affected and 4 is not affected.

The results revealed that more than 22% of patients had their QOL affected severely by FI. Patients reported that they had not previously been asked about FI by a medical practitioner nor did they voluntarily disclose its presence. Furthermore, the negative impact on participants' lives worsened with the loss of both solid and liquid stool and the increased frequency and quantity of soiling. Recent reports have highlighted the impact conservative treatments have had on the QOL of patients with FI. This study reports that despite these improvements many people continue to suffer unaware of some advances.

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Reference: Bartlett L, Nowak M, Ho YH. Impact of fecal incontinence on quality of life. World J Gastroenterol 2009; 15(26): 3276-3282 http://www.wjgnet.com/1007-9327/15/3276.asp

Correspondence to: Lynne Bartlett, Fecal Incontinence Research Group, School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine & Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia. lynne.bartlett@jcu.edu.au

About World Journal of Gastroenterology

World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2008 IF: 2.081. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.

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