Self-management of accidental bowel leakage and interest in a supportive m-Health app among women

Donna Z. Bliss, Olga V. Gurvich, Sunita Patel, Isuzu Meyer, Holly E. Richter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Self-management with clinician guidance is a cornerstone of successful conservative treatment for accidental bowel leakage (ABL). There are currently few resources to assist patients with that essential self-management. The purpose of this study was to describe self-management of ABL and explore interest in a mobile health application (m-Health app) for supporting ABL self-management among community-living women. Methods: Using an observational/descriptive design, women (18+ years) previously seen in a urogynecology clinic for ABL were mailed a survey containing eight multiple-choice questions and an open-ended prompt for comments. Results: Survey responses were received from 161 women (18% response rate). The highest percentage of participants was aged 61–70 years (39%). Nearly half of the participants (47%) “did not know anything” about ABL self-management before visiting a clinician. Only 4% “knew a lot.” Of those who have been trying to self-manage their ABL (n = 132), 37% reported that it was not effective, and only 5% thought their self-management was “very effective.” Half (50%) of the participants had “a lot of” interest in an m-Health app to support managing ABL, and 30% had “some” interest. The vast majority (89%) thought that it was “very important” to have ongoing guidance and support for self-managing ABL. Conclusions: Before visiting a clinician, most women with ABL lacked knowledge about ABL self-management, and their self-management was not very effective. Women thought having guidance to self-manage ABL was important. There would be good interest among women in an m-Health app supporting self-management of ABL if one were created.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1133-1140
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The International Urogynecological Association.


  • Bowel leakage
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Self-management
  • Women


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