Measuring Fecal Incontinence

Nancy N. Baxter, David A. Rothenberger, Ann C. Lowry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


The measurement of fecal incontinence is challenging. Because fecal incontinence is a symptom, the subjective perception of the patient must be the foundation of any evaluation of incontinence or the impact of incontinence. The lack of a criterion standard makes testing measures for reliability and validity more difficult. Despite this, many measures are available and can be divided into three broad categories: descriptive measures that do not provide summary scores; severity measures that assess the frequency and type of incontinence; and impact measures that assess the effect of incontinence on quality of life. The strengths and weaknesses of currently available measures are presented in this review.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1591-1605
Number of pages15
JournalDiseases of the colon and rectum
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Fecal incontinence
  • Function
  • Measurement
  • Outcome assessment
  • Quality of life


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