1. Norton, Christine PhD, RN

Article Content

Fecal incontinence is a significant healthcare problem affecting over 1% of adults. Anal electrical stimulation has been described as efficacious in several case series, but only one controlled study has been reported. Ninety patients (9 men, 81 women) were randomized, 47 to active anal stimulation at 35Hz for 8 weeks and 43 to "sham" stimulation at 1Hz. Outcome measures included a 1 week bowel diary, symptom questionnaire, manometry, and patients' evaluation of outcome. There was no difference between the two groups on any of the outcome measures. Sixty three percent felt the stimulation had improved their continence. Patients rated their bowel control on a 1 to 10 scale: median score before stimulation was 3/10, and after was 5/10 (p = .001). There was a significant improvement (reduction) in bowel frequency (p < .001) and number of incontinent episodes (p = .001). Electrical stimulation improved bowel control to a modest extent. No difference between the groups implies 1Hz was as effective as 35Hz and the main effect is not sphincter contraction, but sensitization of the patient to the anal area. Further work is needed to define optimum stimulation parameters, and whether using stimulation adds to the effect of biofeedback.


Section Description

We are pleased to present the Abstracts from the SGNA's 32nd Annual Course: Passion for GI Nursing: Pass It On!! The diversity of these topics certainly reflects the richness and breadth of our specialty. In keeping with the tradition of the Annual Course, we hope the following abstracts will encourage discussions for improving nursing practice and patient care outcomes.