Behavioural and cognitive interventions with or without other treatments for the management of faecal incontinence in children

Miriam Giovanna Brazzelli, Peter V Griffiths, June D Cody, David Tappin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background
Faecal incontinence is a common and potentially distressing disorder of childhood.

Objectives
To assess the effects of behavioural and/or cognitive interventions for the management of faecal incontinence in children.

Search methods
We searched the Cochrane Incontinence Group Specialised Trials Register (searched 28 October 2011), which contains trials identified from the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE and CINAHL, and handsearching of journals and conference proceedings, and the reference lists of relevant articles. We contacted authors in the field to identify any additional or unpublished studies.

Selection criteria
Randomised and quasi-randomised trials of behavioural and/or cognitive interventions with or without other treatments for the management of faecal incontinence in children.

Data collection and analysis
Reviewers selected studies from the literature, assessed study quality, and extracted data. Data were combined in a meta-analysis when appropriate.

Main results
Twenty one randomised trials with a total of 1371 children met the inclusion criteria. Sample sizes were generally small. All studies but one investigated children with functional faecal incontinence. Interventions varied amongst trials and few outcomes were shared by trials addressing the same comparisons.

Combined results of nine trials showed higher rather than lower rates of persisting symptoms of faecal incontinence up to 12 months when biofeedback was added to conventional treatment (OR 1.11 CI 95% 0.78 to 1.58). This result was consistent with that of two trials with longer follow-up (OR 1.31 CI 95% 0.80 to 2.15). In one trial the adjunct of anorectal manometry to conventional treatment did not result in higher success rates in chronically constipated children (OR 1.40 95% CI 0.72 to 2.73 at 24 months).

In one small trial the adjunct of behaviour modification to laxative therapy was associated with a significant reduction in children's soiling episodes at both the three month (OR 0.14 CI 95% 0.04 to 0.51) and the 12 month assessment (OR 0.20 CI 95% 0.06 to 0.65).

Authors' conclusions
There is no evidence that biofeedback training adds any benefit to conventional treatment in the management of functional faecal incontinence in children. There was not enough evidence on which to assess the effects of biofeedback for the management of organic faecal incontinence. There is some evidence that behavioural interventions plus laxative therapy, rather than laxative therapy alone, improves continence in children with functional faecal incontinence associated with constipation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD002240
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2011

Keywords

  • Behavior Therapy
  • Biofeedback, Psychology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Encopresis
  • Fecal Incontinence
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

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