NICE issues guidelines on faecal incontinence for treatment of adults

Guidelines on the care and treatment of adults with faecal incontinence have been issued by NICE.

The guidelines recommend that clinicians actively ask people in high-risk groups, such as elderly people or women who have recently given birth, about whether they have any signs of faecal incontinence.

A full assessment, including a medical history, should be carried out in order to find out the cause of the faecal incontinence and provide the most appropriate treatment, states the guidance.

Clinicians should also provide advice about changing diet and fluid intake as well as encouraging individuals with the condition to establish a regular bowel routine.

After each stage of treatment, clinicians should ask the patient whether their faecal incontinence has improved. People continuing to experience symptoms should be involved in discussions about further treatment options or alternative coping strategies.

It is hoped that the guideline will encourage people with the condition to feel more confident talking about faecal incontinence and be reassured that clinicians will take their symptoms and concerns seriously.

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