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Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 2004 Jan;28(1):16-20.

Impact of anal incontinence and chronic constipation on quality of life.

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  • 1Fédération des Spécialités Digestives, Hôpital Edouard Herriot, Place d'Arsonval, 69437 Lyon Cedex.



To determine the impact of symptoms related to chronic constipation and fecal incontinence on quality of life.


This prospective study included 173 consecutive patients who referred addressed to our laboratory for anorectal manometry. Quality of life was evaluated using the GIQLI questionnaire, and severity of symptoms using the Cleveland Clinic scores for constipation and fecal incontinence. A correlation study was performed between the quality of life and symptoms scores.


The GIQLI questionnaire was correctly completed by 157 patients (90.7%). The mean GIQLI score was 89 +/- 24, without any significant difference between constipated and incontinent patients. The mean constipation score was 15.7/30 (range: 6-25). The mean fecal incontinence score was 10.5/20 (range: 3-16). Correlation between quality of life and symptom scores was poor. Thus, a significant threshold value for symptom scores corresponding to major alteration of quality of life could not be determined.


Quality of life is profoundly altered both in patients with chronic constipated and incontinence. Symptom scores do not allow satisfactory evaluation of the impact of chronic constipation or fecal incontinence on patients' quality of life. These results confirm the need for systematic exploration of quality of life in these patients, to correctly address the severity of functional diseases, and the influence of therapy.

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