Background: As knowledge of the prevalence and impact of fecal incontinence increases, additional research is needed to improve patient outcomes and support the practice of nurses in this area.
Objectives: To outline needs for future nursing research on fecal incontinence in aging adults.
Methods: Existing literature about fecal incontinence was analyzed to generate a plan for future research.
Results: Recommendations for investigation were proposed in the following areas: mechanisms underlying fecal incontinence and common to fecal incontinence and urinary incontinence; assessment of fecal incontinence; management strategies; and tracking a patient's response to fecal incontinence therapies across the healthcare system. Other areas of study identified as priorities included lessening the psychological burden of fecal incontinence, preventing perineal skin problems with appropriate skin care protocols and products, and developing efficacious nursing home routines and environments.
Conclusions: Increasing the capacity of nursing research focused on fecal incontinence through funding support and recruitment incentives for new investigators is essential to achieve the proposed agenda.