Urinary and faecal incontinence: psychological factors and management recommendations

N Z Med J. 2019 Oct 4;132(1503):25-33.


Background: Urinary and faecal incontinence substantially impacts upon physical health and is associated with significant psychological distress and reduced quality of life. Due to stigma and embarrassment, many patients do not present for management of their incontinence.

Aim: The objective of this article is to summarise the forms and causes of urinary and faecal incontinence, highlight the psychological mechanisms and psychopathology associated with incontinence, and provide management recommendations.

Conclusion: Urinary and faecal incontinence can have a significant impact on an individual's psychological wellbeing and quality of life. Psychological factors may either contribute to or arise from incontinence and should be addressed as part of the overall management plan.

MeSH terms

  • Fecal Incontinence* / classification
  • Fecal Incontinence* / etiology
  • Fecal Incontinence* / psychology
  • Fecal Incontinence* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Patient Care Management / methods*
  • Psychological Distress*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Urinary Incontinence* / classification
  • Urinary Incontinence* / etiology
  • Urinary Incontinence* / psychology
  • Urinary Incontinence* / therapy