Rectal irrigation for patients with functional bowel disorders

Nurs Stand. 2010 Mar;24(26):42-7. doi: 10.7748/ns2010.


Functional bowel disorders encompass a number of symptoms including abdominal, pelvic and/or anal pain, bloating, nausea, disturbed bowel function, faecal urgency or incontinence, straining to evacuate bowels, incomplete emptying and constipation. This article examines the causes and effects of functional bowel problems on patients' quality of life. It provides an overview of the treatment options and clinical management of these conditions, focusing on biofeedback and rectal irrigation. The author reports results from a small scale audit at her hospital and concludes that rectal irrigation is a valuable treatment option for patients with functional bowel disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Biofeedback, Psychology
  • Causality
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / etiology
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / prevention & control*
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / psychology
  • Contraindications
  • Enema / instrumentation
  • Enema / methods*
  • Enema / nursing
  • Humans
  • Nursing Audit
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / instrumentation
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / methods*
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / nursing
  • Treatment Outcome