Impact of relaxation breathing on the internal anal sphincter in patients with faecal incontinence

Bartlett, Lynne M., Sloots, Kathryn L., Nowak, Madeleine J., and Ho, Yik-hong (2012) Impact of relaxation breathing on the internal anal sphincter in patients with faecal incontinence. Australian and New Zealand Continence Journal, 18 (2). 1. pp. 38-45.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


Faecal incontinence (FI) affects up to 15% of community-dwelling adults. Relaxation breathing has been shown to aid other gastrointestinal problems. This study reports the effect of relaxation breathing on the internal anal sphincter pressure waves in patients with FI. As part of a randomised controlled trial, comparing two exercise regimens, 72 patients with FI and frequency, urgency or incomplete evacuation participated in a holistic biofeedback treatment programme that included instruction of all participants in relaxation breathing. Resting pressures were measured by a catheter in the anal canal with a balloon positioned in the rectal vault inflated to initial sensation value. The means and variances of anorectal pressures were compared before and after training in relaxation breathing. Relaxation breathing statistically significantly decreased the variability of anal canal pressure wave amplitudes for all participants from 17.3 (IQR: 7–37) cm H2O to 3.4 (IQR: 2–9) cm H2O, P<0.001. The variability in participants with post-surgery bowel dysfunction (19) was more pronounced, reducing from 36.2 (IQR: 16–183) to 5.3 (IQR: 1–13) cm H2O, P=0.011. It is concluded that relaxation breathing promotes more regular internal anal sphincter pressure wave patterns and as a management technique it may aid in the reduction of incontinent episodes and faecal urgency.

Item ID: 22883
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-0131
Keywords: faecal incontinence, relaxation breathing, gastrointestinal motility, anxiety, urgency
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2012 00:52
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110307 Gastroenterology and Hepatology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920105 Digestive System Disorders @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 2
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page