Abstract

Urinary and faecal incontinence: psychological factors and management recommendations

Kuoch KL1, Hebbard GS2, O'Connell HE3, Austin DW4, Knowles SR5. N Z Med J. 2019 Oct 4;132(1503):25-33.

 
     

Author information

PhD (Psychology) Candidate, Department of Psychological Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.

Consultant Gastroenterologist; Director of Gastroenterology; Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia; Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.

Urological Surgeon; Head of Urology; Director of Surgery, Department of Surgery, Western Health, Melbourne, Australia.

Professor of Psychology; Associate Dean, School of Psychology, Deakin University, Geelong, Australia.

Clinical Psychologist; Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychological Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia; Department of Medicine, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia; Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia; Department of Psychiatry, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Urinary and faecal incontinence substantially impacts upon physical health and is associated with significant psychological distress and reduced quality of life. Due to stigma and embarrassment, many patients do not present for management of their incontinence.

AIM: The objective of this article is to summarise the forms and causes of urinary and faecal incontinence, highlight the psychological mechanisms and psychopathology associated with incontinence, and provide management recommendations.

CONCLUSION: Urinary and faecal incontinence can have a significant impact on an individual's psychological wellbeing and quality of life. Psychological factors may either contribute to or arise from incontinence and should be addressed as part of the overall management plan.

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