Nursing management of patients with faecal incontinence
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Nursing management of patients with faecal incontinence

Mariama Barrie Continence clinical nurse specialist, Continence Advisory Service, Wokingham Community Hospital, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Berkshire, England

Why you should read this article:
  • » To enhance your understanding of the signs, symptoms, causes and treatment of faecal incontinence

  • » To ensure that patients are provided with education, advice and support that is appropriate and meets their individual needs

  • » To consider the psychological effect of faecal incontinence on patients and refer them to support services as required

Faecal incontinence is a condition that can develop as a result of age, injury or long-term conditions, and may be associated with significant stigma for those affected. Symptoms of faecal incontinence include leakage of flatus and faeces, and the condition can affect people of any age, although it is most prevalent in older people. Faecal incontinence is a subject that might not be openly discussed by patients and healthcare professionals; therefore, it is important for nurses to be aware of its signs, symptoms, causes and risk factors, so that they can identify patients at high risk. This article provides an overview of faecal incontinence, exploring its causes, psychological effects for patients, and conservative and specialised management measures, as well as the nurse’s role in providing treatment and support.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11167


Barrie M (2018) Nursing management of patients with faecal incontinence. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11167

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software


Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 23 April 2018

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