Fecal Incontinence in the Elderly

Felix W. Leung, Satish Sanku Chander Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fecal incontinence affects up to 20% of community-dwelling adults and more than 50% of nursing home residents, and is one of the major risk factors for elderly persons in the nursing home. Institutionalization itself is a risk factor (eg, immobility due to physical restraints). Management should focus on identifying and treating underlying causes, such as diet- or medication induced diarrhea, constipation, and fecal impaction. Use of absorbent pads and special undergarments is useful. Anorectal physiologic testing of nursing home residents has revealed an association between constipation, stool retention, and fecal incontinence. Impaired sphincter function (risk factor for fecal incontinence), decreased rectal sensation, and sphincter dyssynergia (risk factor for constipation and impaction) are found in a high proportion of incontinent nursing home residents. Biofeedback and sacral nerve stimulation may be useful in refractory patients and should be considered before colostomy in community-dwelling adults. Despite appropriate management, nursing home residents may remain incontinent because of dementia and health or restraint related immobility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-511
Number of pages9
JournalGastroenterology Clinics of North America
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009

Fingerprint

Fecal Incontinence
Nursing Homes
Constipation
Independent Living
Absorbent Pads
Fecal Impaction
Physical Restraint
Institutionalization
Colostomy
Ataxia
Dementia
Diarrhea
Diet
Health

Keywords

  • Community dwelling
  • Diagnosis and treatment
  • Elderly
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Nursing Home

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

Fecal Incontinence in the Elderly. / Leung, Felix W.; Rao, Satish Sanku Chander.

In: Gastroenterology Clinics of North America, Vol. 38, No. 3, 01.09.2009, p. 503-511.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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