Impact of anal incontinence on psychosocial function and health-related quality of life

Michael D. Crowell, V. Ann Schettler, Brian E. Lacy, Tisha N. Lunsford, Lucinda A. Harris, John K. DiBaise, Michael P. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The relationship among the frequency of anal incontinence (AI), psychosocial factors, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) was evaluated. Consecutive patients (n=280) completed a bowel symptom questionnaire, the Symptom Checklist 90-Revised (SCL 90-R), and an assessment of HRQOL. Group 1 had no incontinence, Group 2 had AI less than once per week, and Group 3 experienced AI more than once per week. Multivariate analyses were used to evaluate the relationship among symptoms, the SCL-90-R subscales, and HRQOL. Group 3 reported more frequent stools than the other groups. Significant psychological distress was present in both incontinent groups compared to Group 1 (P=0.002). A reduction in overall HRQOL was also seen in the incontinent groups. Depression was inversely correlated with QOL-Satisfaction and QOL-Ratings and positively correlated with QOL-Interference. AI was associated with impaired psychosocial function and decreased HRQOL. The frequency of AI was associated with increased HRQOL-Interference, but minimally with the degree of psychosocial impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1627-1631
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Anal Incontinence
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Psychosocial
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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