Fecal Incontinence

Continence Assessment

Continence assessment is an important part of making sure that patients get the proper treatment for their conditions. When caring for a patient with incontinence, it is important to make sure you get all of the facts from the person themselves as much as possible. If they have a caregiver or spouse involved in helping them keep track of their medical needs, it is also important to include that person in the continence assessment meeting. Here are some guidelines for health care providers, including what questions to ask.

Start a Conversation About Incontience

As many as one-quarter to one-third of adults are living with incontinence. Risk factors include: age, obesity, childbirth, and prostate enlargement. Not being able to control leaking urine is embarrassing and can even cause people to limit daily activities and prevent them from enjoying life. Here are some ways medical professionals can support patients living with incontinence.

bowel incontinence

A common problem, especially in older people, is bowel incontinence or leaking of fecal matter. Individuals suffering from this condition may fear embarrassment and even avoid activities. Unless specifically asked about it, many people are reluctant to talk about this issue, even with their doctor.

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incontinence

Incontinence can be divided into two main types - urinary and fecal incontinence. The first one refers to inability to control urine flow, while the second type is marked by inability to control bowel movements. Urinary incontinence is more common than inability to control bowel movements and is further subdivided into the following types:

Cathy Milne's picture

by Cathy Milne APRN, MSN, BC-ANP/CS, CWOCN

I'm probably going to sound like Andy Rooney, the recently deceased colorful commentator from 60 Minutes. With all due respect, I will borrow from his opening lines, "Did you ever wonder why..."

Did you ever wonder why we, as a society, never talk about fecal incontinence? Yes, that's right – poop. I had planned to discuss fiber supplements. My plans went awry when USA Today (August 18th, 2012) had a front page spread that spilled onto the Page 3 about Clostridium difficile (C-diff) infection causing more than 30,000 deaths annually in the United States. I have to talk poop.

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