Prevalence and severity of functional urinary and anorectal disorders and their impact on quality of life in cystic fibrosis

J Cyst Fibros. 2023 Oct 29:S1569-1993(23)01659-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2023.10.011. Online ahead of print.


Background: In cystic fibrosis (CF), coughing is associated with a risk of pelvic floor dysfunction. However, data on the prevalence of symptoms (stress urinary incontinence, bladder overactivity, dysuria, and faecal incontinence) are lacking in males and females with CF. The impact of incontinence on adherence to respiratory care has not been studied.

Methods: We conducted a multicentre study in adults with CF followed in the North-West French CF network. Urinary disorders and their severity were assessed using the Urinary Symptom Profile (USP) self-report questionnaire; the impact of urinary disorders on general quality of life was measured using the SF-Qualiveen questionnaire; faecal incontinence was assessed using the Wexner self-report questionnaire; and the CFQ-R14+ questionnaire was used to assess quality of life. A self-administered questionnaire developed for the study assessed the impact of symptoms on respiratory care.

Results: Of the 178 people with CF included, 34 % reported stress urinary incontinence, with a large female predominance (63.5 % of females vs. 7.5 % of males), 65 % bladder overactivity (including 16 % urge incontinence) and 50 % faecal incontinence, also with a female predominance. Neither urinary nor faecal incontinence were related to the severity of the respiratory impairment (FEV1). Quality of life was particularly affected in women. Stress urinary Incontinence symptoms affected respiratory care in both sexes.

Conclusion: The prevalence of functional urinary and faecal disorders was high in adults with CF and impacted on quality of life and respiratory care. Therefore, multidisciplinary teams must have knowledge of symptoms, the diagnostic tools and management strategies to provide specific treatment.

Keywords: Cystic fibrosis; Faecal incontinence; Quality of life; Urinary incontinence.