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ORIGINAL ARTICLE   Free accessfree

European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2018 December;54(6):873-9

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.18.04991-2


language: English

Assessment of neurogenic bowel dysfunction impact after spinal cord injury using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health

Jennifer M. PIRES , Ana M. FERREIRA, Filipa ROCHA, Luis G. ANDRADE, Inês CAMPOS, Paulo MARGALHO, Jorge LAÍNS

Department of Spinal Cord Injury, Central Region Rehabilitation Medicine Center - Rovisco Pais, Tocha, Portugal

BACKGROUND: Bowel function is frequently compromised after spinal cord injury (SCI). Regardless of this crucial importance in patients’ lives, there is still scarce literature on the Neurogenic Bowel Dysfunction (NBD) deleterious impact on SCI patient’s lives and only few studies correlating NBD severity with quality of life (QoL). To our knowledge there are no studies assessing the impact of NBD on the context of ICF domains.
AIM: To assess NBD after SCI using ICF domains and to assess its impact in QoL.
DESIGN: Retrospective data analysis and cross-sectional phone survey.
SETTING: Outpatient spinal cord injury setting.
POPULATION: Portuguese adult spinal cord injury patients.
METHODS: Retrospective analysis of demographic data, lesion characteristics and bowel management methods at last inpatient discharge. Cross-sectional phone survey assessing current bowel management methods, the Neurogenic Bowel Dysfunction Score and a Likert Scale questionnaire about the impact on ICF domains and QoL.
RESULTS: Sixty-four patients answered the questionnaire. The majority was male (65.6%), mean age 56.6±15.6 years, AIS A lesion (39.1%), with a traumatic cause (71.9%). The main bowel management methods were contact laxatives, suppositories and osmotic laxatives. 50.1% of patients scored moderate or severe NBD. Considering ICF domains, the greatest impact was in personal and environmental factors, with 39.1% reporting impact in financial costs, 45.3% in need of assistance, 45.3% in emotional health and 46.9% in loss of privacy. There was a significant association between severity of NBD and negative impact on QoL (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The study confirms the major impact of NBD on personal and environmental factors of ICF and on the quality of life of SCI population.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: These findings confirm that it is relevant to identify the main ICF domains affected by NBD after SCI in order to address targeted interventions, working toward changes in health policies and psychosocial aspects.

KEY WORDS: Spinal cord injuries - Neurogenic bowel - Quality of life

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