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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 4-9

Evaluating the efficacy of biofeedback for chronic constipation using the constipation severity instrument and constipation-related quality of life measure

1 Department of Surgery, Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, Taipei Veterans General Hospital; Department of Surgery, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
2 Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Madhulika G Varma
Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, 550 16th Street, 6th Floor, San Francisco, California 94158
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/WJCS.WJCS_7_18

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Background: Many studies have described using biofeedback to treat chronic constipation, but few reports have addressed its impact on quality of life (QOL). Objective: The aim was to evaluate the effect of biofeedback with a validated Constipation Severity Instrument (CSI) and Constipation-Related QOL (CRQOL) measure. Design: Prospectively collected data with retrospective analysis. Setting: Tertiary care academic center. Patients and Methods: Patients referred to the Center for Pelvic Physiology with chronic constipation and objective signs of pelvic floor dyssynergia, who received a complete course of biofeedback therapy and returned all of their questionnaires, were enrolled in the study. Questionnaires were given upon initial evaluation, immediately after the complete course of biofeedback, and 6 months later. Main Outcome Measures: Improvement of dyssynergia symptom and QOL by CSI and CRQOL. Sample Size: A total of 25 patients (20 females and 5 males) were included. Results: Overall, 75% of patients reported satisfactory symptom and QOL improvement. CSI total scores decreased after treatment (35.0 vs. 31.0, P = 0.06) and at 6-month follow-up (35.0 vs. 30.0, P = 0.05). Only the obstructive defecation (OD) subscale of CSI improved significantly after treatment (median 21.0 vs. 16.5, P < 0.01) and sustained to 6 months after therapy (median 21.0 vs. 18.5, P = 0.03). Statistically significant improvement was seen in the distress subscale of the CRQOL immediately after biofeedback (24.0 vs. 18.0, P = 0.02). Conclusions: This study demonstrated that the active effects of biofeedback in constipated patients were specific to OD symptoms and the distress subscale for QOL. CSI and CRQOL are both useful tools to evaluate the specific response of constipated patients after biofeedback therapy. Limitations: The study limitation was the small sample size due to difficulty in obtaining complete information in the enrolled patients.

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