Abstract

The use of biofeedback for children with fecal incontinence secondary to retentive constipation: Experience of a French Pediatric Center

Clin Res Hepatol Gastroenterol. 2020 Oct 22;S2210-7401(20)30291-6.doi: 10.1016/j.clinre.2020.09.011. Online ahead of print.

Elie Abi Nader 1, Ombeline Roche 2, Jean-Philippe Jais 3, Julie Salomon 2, Olivier Goulet 4, Florence Campeotto 4

 
     

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, APHP, Hôpital Necker Enfants Malades, 149 Rue de Sèvres, 75015, Paris, France; Université de Paris, Faculté de Médecine, 2 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, 75006, Paris, France. Electronic address: abn.doc@gmail.com.
  • 2Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, APHP, Hôpital Necker Enfants Malades, 149 Rue de Sèvres, 75015, Paris, France.
  • 3Department of Biostatistics, Imagine Institute, AP-HP, Paris, France.
  • 4Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, APHP, Hôpital Necker Enfants Malades, 149 Rue de Sèvres, 75015, Paris, France; Université de Paris, Faculté de Médecine, 2 rue de l'Ecole de Médecine, 75006, Paris, France.

Abstract

Background: Fecal incontinence (FI) secondary to chronic retentive constipation is a frequent demand in pediatric gastroenterology clinics. The management of constipation in children includes laxatives (polyethylene glycol, PEG), enhanced toilet training, and dietary advice. Biofeedback is a possible treatment for children above the age of 7 years with resistant FI.

Aim: To analyze any changes in volume to trigger defecation (VTD) and envy score over the course of biofeedback sessions according to clinical response.

Methods: In this retrospective study, we reviewed the medical records of 23 children diagnosed with FI according to the Rome IV criteria and treated with biofeedback. For each biofeedback session, a mean VTD by subject was measured. At the end, therapy was considered a success if soiling disappeared and a failure if any persisted. The need to defecate expressed by the child was described as an envy score. A 0-10 visual analog scale was used to express the intensity of this sensation. Follow-up involved calling the parents 12 months after the biofeedback sessions had ended to assess symptoms remotely.

Results: The study included 19 boys and 4 girls with a median age of 10 years. Patients' ages ranged between 7 and 17 years. None of them had any associated neurological disorders. All children had FI for >1 year. The median number of soiling episodes per week was 7. The average number of biofeedback sessions was 3 (range 1-5). At the end of the rehabilitation sessions, 12 children (52%) were in the "success" group. In the latter, median VTD decreased from 97 ml to 70 ml between the first and last session. In the "failure" group, VTD decreased from 120 ml to 100 ml. The between-group difference in the median VTD at the first session was not statistically significant. The last observation carried forward (LOCF) VTD was significantly lower in the "success" group compared to the "failure" group (70 ml versus 100 ml, p = 0.03). Median envy scores decreased during the biofeedback sessions with no statistical difference between the groups at the last session. Follow-up of children in the "success" group one year after the last biofeedback session revealed that 10 patients had no relapse (83%) and 2 were lost to follow-up.

Conclusions: Biofeedback might be an effective tool for the management of FI resistant to medical treatment in children.

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