Cavanaugh et al evaluated patients with fecal incontinence for factors affecting their quality of life (QOL). The authors are from the University of Vermont in Burlington.


The severity of the fecal incontinence, with a Fecal Incontinence Severity Index (FISI, see Chapter 10) > 30 associated with an impaired quality of life. The frequency of incontinence for liquid stool was especially problematic. The more severe the problem the greater the need for a protective pad to control accidental leakage.


The impact of the fecal incontinence also affects the QOL:

(1) restriction in lifestyle

(2) depression

(3) embarrassment


Restriction in lifestyle includes:

(1) ability to travel

(2) need to be near toilet facilities

(3) need to avoid certain activities (which may worsen the incontinence)


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