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Dis Colon Rectum. 2001 Jan;44(1):67-71.

What is the impact of fecal incontinence on quality of life?

Author information

1
Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The objective of this study was to determine at what point fecal incontinence affects quality of life.

METHODS:

In 35 patients who had anterior sphincter repair for fecal incontinence as a result of obstetric injury, continence evaluated by the Wexner score was compared with validated quality of life tests (Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index and Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form General Health Survey). The questionnaires were sent by mail. Thirty-two patients responded. The Wexner score (0-20) was correlated with the Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index and the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form General Health Survey and matched with those of reference groups.

RESULTS:

The mean Wexner score was 8.8, corresponding with losing stools between once a week and once a month. The mean Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index score was 105 (range, 48-136), which is significantly lower than the score found in a reference group of normal individuals. Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form General Health Survey scores were significantly lower in all six dimensions compared with the reference group. A Wexner score of 9 or higher was associated with a Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index score of less than 105, which implies that patients were less mobile in the community and were confined to their homes. A similar correlation was found between a Wexner score higher than 9 and the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form General Health Survey.

CONCLUSIONS:

A Wexner score of 9 or higher indicates a significant impairment of quality of life and can therefore be used in decision making.

PMID:
11805565
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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