Rapid priority setting exercise on faecal incontinence for Cochrane Incontinence

Katie H. Thomson, Nicole O'connor, Kim Tuyen Dangova, Sean Gill, Sara Jackson, Donna Z. Bliss, Sheila A. Wallace, Fiona Pearson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective This rapid priority setting exercise aimed to identify, expand, prioritise and explore stakeholder (patients, carers and healthcare practitioners) topic uncertainties on faecal incontinence (FI). Design An evidence gap map (EGM) was produced to give a visual overview of emerging trial evidence; existing systematic review-level evidence and FI stakeholder topic uncertainties derived from a survey. This EGM was used in a knowledge exchange workshop that promoted group discussions leading to the prioritisation and exploration of FI stakeholder identified topic uncertainties. Results Overall, a mismatch between the existing and emerging evidence and key FI stakeholder topic uncertainties was found. The prioritised topic uncertainties identified in the workshop were as follows: psychological support; lifestyle interventions; long-term effects of living with FI; education; constipation and the cultural impact of FI. When these six prioritised topic uncertainties were explored in more depth, the following themes were identified: education; impact and burden of living with FI; psychological support; healthcare service improvements and inconsistencies; the stigma of FI; treatments and management; culturally appropriate management and technology and its accessibility. Conclusions Topic uncertainties identified were broad and wide ranging even after prioritisation. More research is required to unpick the themes emerging from the in-depth discussion and explore these further to achieve a consensus on deliverable research questions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere000847
JournalBMJ Open Gastroenterology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Undertaken as a rapid project, it was not possible to complete a multiround consensus building or prioritisation method. Rather, an EGM was produced giving an overview of available FI systematic review and trial evidence (within scope of CI) in parallel to a survey identifying FI stakeholder topic uncertainties. Evidence gaps and redundancies were identified and highlighted in a knowledge exchange workshop with key FI stakeholders during which topic uncertainties identified through survey were prioritised. This project was funded by CI, and as such was targeted at mapping the evidence on FI within the scope of evidence covered by CI and where FI was the primary focus of the intervention. FI prevention, in particular, is researched by other Cochrane groups (eg, Pregnancy and Childbirth, Gut). Our resulting EGM is, therefore, a pragmatic overview of the evidence base related to FI intervention research of immediate relevance to CI and to the wider FI stakeholder audience.

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022.


  • anal incontinence
  • faecal incontinence
  • fecal incontinence


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