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P086. Faecal incontinence in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and effect on quality of life


C. Norton1, L. Dibley1

1Bucks New University, Faculty of Society & Health, London, United Kingdom



Background: It is not known whether established predisposing factors for faecal incontinence (FI) are relevant to people with IBD. The effect that IBD-related FI has on quality of life is unknown. We aimed to determine the frequency and severity of FI in people with IBD, including the identification of associations between reported factors and FI status, and the effect of FI on quality of life.

Methods: We randomly sampled 10,000 members of Crohn's & Colitis UK and received 3264 electronic or postal responses. Respondents provided demographic information, medical history, continence status (International Consultation on Incontinence – Bowels: ICIQ‑B) and quality of life (Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire: IBD‑Q), and free text responses about incontinence. Data were managed using Excel and SPSS version 18.

Results: 26% reported never being incontinent. Of the 74% who reported some FI, this was rarely for 34%, sometimes for 31%, and regularly for 9%. FI was linked to disease flare up, but regular incontinence was also reported in remission. FI was associated with age, disease activity, gender, vaginal delivery, any type of anal or colorectal surgery and co-existing urinary incontinence (all p ≤ 0.001). There was no difference between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis).

Quality of life scores (ICIQ‑B) and social function scores (IBD‑Q) were worse in those with FI (p ≤ 0.001). Most respondents had not disclosed FI to health professionals and few knew that any help was available.

While our results are undoubtedly biased by selective responding, they indicate that many more people with IBD have FI than in the general population (<10%). Even if all our non-respondents are continent, 24% of people with IBD are likely to have FI.

Conclusions: There is a large and currently unmet need for help with continence in people with IBD.