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J Wound Ostomy Continence Nurs. 2006 Jan-Feb;33(1):52-61; discussion 61-2.

Diet strategies used by women to manage fecal incontinence.

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University of Minnesota School of Nursing, Minneapolis, MN55455, USA.


Fecal incontinence occurs in community-living women who are elderly, as well as younger women, particularly after vaginal childbirth. Little is known about how women manage fecal incontinence in their everyday lives. Ten women who had fecal incontinence for at least 1 year participated in an audio-taped interview in a phenomenological study. Diet modification was identified as a key strategy for managing fecal incontinence. Various food types were avoided, restricted, or used as remedies. The meanings that the women applied to the diet strategies for managing fecal incontinence had 4 themes: restricting diet and eating patterns, eating and dealing with the consequences, treating fecal incontinence with foods and fluids, and lacking therapeutic guidance regarding diet modifications for fecal incontinence. The results of this study suggest that the continence nurse specialist recognize the important role and meaning of diet as a self-care strategy for women with fecal incontinence and address diet in their assessment and management recommendations.

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