Measuring fecal incontinence

Dis Colon Rectum. 2003 Dec;46(12):1591-605. doi: 10.1007/BF02660762.


The measurement of fecal incontinence is challenging. Because fecal incontinence is a symptom, the subjective perception of the patient must be the foundation of any evaluation of incontinence or the impact of incontinence. The lack of a criterion standard makes testing measures for reliability and validity more difficult. Despite this, many measures are available and can be divided into three broad categories: descriptive measures that do not provide summary scores; severity measures that assess the frequency and type of incontinence; and impact measures that assess the effect of incontinence on quality of life. The strengths and weaknesses of currently available measures are presented in this review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endpoint Determination
  • Fecal Incontinence / classification*
  • Fecal Incontinence / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Terminology as Topic