Biofeedback therapy for symptoms of bowel dysfunction following surgery for colorectal cancer

Bartlett, L., Sloots, K., Nowak, M., and Ho, Y-H. (2011) Biofeedback therapy for symptoms of bowel dysfunction following surgery for colorectal cancer. Techniques in Coloproctology, 15 (3). pp. 319-326.

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Background: Following colorectal cancer (CRC) surgery, up to 60% of patients experience post-surgery bowel dysfunction (PSBD). This retrospective review aimed to evaluate biofeedback therapy with regard to patients’ symptoms of fecal incontinence (FI) and stool frequency.

Methods: Patients with symptoms including frequency, urgency, FI, incomplete evacuation, failure to respond to dietary, medication or standard pelvic floor exercises (≥6 months) underwent biofeedback therapy between 2003 and 2006. Patients attended 3–4 sessions 1 week apart incorporating: anorectal function assessment; Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life (FIQL) and severity questionnaires; suggested coping strategies; dietary advice; bowel, food and exercise diary training; relaxation breathing; evacuation techniques; anal and pelvic floor muscle exercises using computerized visual feedback; and were reassessed at a final session following 4 weeks of home practice.

Results: Nineteen CRC PSBD patients [anterior resection (3); ultra-low anterior resection (10); segmental colectomy (2); and proctocolectomy (4)], mean age: 64.1 (95% CI: 47.0–81.3) years, participated. FIQL scales improved significantly for lifestyle, coping and embarrassment but not depression. Incontinence severity and number of bowel motions significantly decreased. Satisfaction with results of therapy was high. Subjective bowel control rating improved. FIQL scores further improved 2 years later.

Conclusion: The holistic biofeedback protocol for PSBD in CRC patients is successful in the short and medium term.

Item ID: 9657
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1128-045X
Keywords: colorectal cancer, fecal incontinence, patient satisfaction, post-surgery bowel dysfunction, quality of life
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2012 06:09
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110399 Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920105 Digestive System Disorders @ 35%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920401 Behaviour and Health @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920408 Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being) @ 35%
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