Management of bowel dysfunction in the community after spinal cord injury: A postal survey in the Republic of Korea

J. Y. Kim, E. S. Koh, J. Leigh, H. I. Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Study design: A cross-sectional postal survey. Objectives: To describe defecation stimulation methods and their outcomes, and to investigate the impact of bowel dysfunction on the quality of life (QoL) in community-dwelling persons with spinal cord injury in South Korea. Setting: Community-based, Korea. Methods: A cross-sectional postal survey was conducted. Questionnaires were sent to 459 chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) patients who were registered as members of the Korean Spinal Cord Injury Association. Defecation stimulation methods and their outcomes, the impact of bowel dysfunction on the QoL were investigated. Results: A total of 388 subjects (44.5±10.8 year of age; men, 76.0%; duration of time since the onset of SCI, 14.2±9.5 years) responded. Bowel-related general, social and home QoL deterioration was found in ≥60%. Suppositories (Supp) were most frequently used, followed by digital rectal stimulation (DRS). The mini enema (ME), which is exclusively used in Korea, was utilized in 18.8%. A defecation time of 30 min was more frequently reported in patients who stimulated defecation with Supp than in those who used DRS. Conclusions: The use of MEs and warm-water irrigations were newly identified in Korea. Bowel care-related factors that greatly deteriorate the QoL were fecal incontinence, time in one defecation ≥60 min, perianal skin problem, flatus incontinence and hemorrhoids. Alleviating these factors might help to improve the QoL. In particular, stimulation methods to reduce time for defecation might be recommended to persons with chronic SCI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-308
Number of pages6
JournalSpinal Cord
Volume50
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2012

Keywords

  • defecation
  • enema
  • neurogenic bowel
  • quality of life
  • spinal cord injury

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