Biofeedback Treatment of Fecal Incontinence in Geriatric Patients

William E. Whitehead, Kathryn L. Burgio, Bernard T. Engel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Eighteen fecally incontinent geriatric patients were first treated for constipation as a possible cause of incontinence, and the 13 who remained incontinent were provided sphincter biofeedback training. Half the patients were instructed to perform 50 sphincter exercises per day for a four‐week period prior to the start of biofeedback training to determine whether such exercises would improve bowel control in the absence of biofeedback training. Sphincter exercises alone did not produce clinical improvements and did not significantly increase the strength of sphincter contractions. Biofeedback training did significantly augment sphincter strength and was associated with greater than 75 per cent decreases in incontinence for 10 (77 per cent) of the patients. Improvements were maintained in 60 per cent at six months and in 42 per cent at one year. Thus biofeedback training appears to be of specific value in the treatment of fecal incontinence in geriatric patients. 1985 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-324
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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