School of Nursing
Bowel dysfunction, such as constipation and fecal incontinence, has a significant impact on health, activities of daily living, and quality of life among people with spina bifida. Secondary complications may result from bowel dysfunction and include urologic dysfunction, loss of skin integrity, shunt (hydrocephalus) function, as well as loss of social opportunities and employability.
Using a consensus building methodology, the guidelines for management of bowel dysfunction in spina bifida were written by experts in the field of spina bifida and bowel function and care.
The evidence-based guidelines are presented in table format and provide age-specific recommendations to achieve fecal continence without constipation. Recommended treatments are presented from least to most invasive options. Literature supporting the recommendations and the interval research published to date is also presented.
These guidelines present a standardized approach to management of bowel dysfunction in spina bifida. Bowel management in children and young adults with spina bifida is limited by variability in clinical practice and paucity of robust research in neurogenic bowel. Collaborative multi-institutional efforts are needed to overcome research barriers and provide innovative solutions.
Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine
Beierwaltes, P., Church, P., Gordon, T., & Ambartsymyan, L. (2020). Bowel function and care - Guidelines for the care of people with Spina Bifida. Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, 13, 491-498. https://doi.org/10.3233/PRM-200724
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This article was first published in Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, 13, 491-498. https://doi.org/10.3233/PRM-200724
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