Incontinence sufferers have lower quality of life

Debate continues over testing and treatment, balance may be needed

Iowa City, IA. – December 15, 2006 - An article published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology highlights the ongoing debate over whether testing is necessary prior to diagnosis and treatment of patients with fecal incontinence (FI), the involuntary discharge of bowel contents. FI sufferers deal with significant quality of life issues and their condition often remains undiagnosed.

Dr. Satish S.C. Rao, co-author of the study believes that a balance between the two primary treatment methods; those based on testing and those based on empirical data, must be achieved. "Diagnostic testing for fecal incontinence may not be required in every patient, but its judicious use will provide an objective portrayal of the underlying mechanism(s) together with a more reliable diagnosis," says Rao.

However, these tests are not widely available. There is lack of training and concerns with the standardization of tests and the interpretation of results. "An improvement in diagnostic testing and cognitive skills can only occur through a renaissance in our approach to the art and science of gastroenterology," says Rao.

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This study is published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article please contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net

Satish S.C. Rao, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.P. is Professor of Medicine at the University of Iowa. He can be reached for questions and interviews at Satish-rao@uiowa.edu.

The American Journal of Gastroenterology is the official publication of the American College of Gastroenterology. Aimed at practicing clinicians, the journal's articles deal directly with the disorders seen most often in patients. The journal brings a broad-based, interdisciplinary approach to the study of gastroenterology, including articles reporting on current observations, research results, methods of treatment, drugs, epidemiology, and other topics relevant to clinical gastroenterology. For more information, please visit http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/ajg.

The American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) was founded in 1932 to advance the scientific study and medical practice of diseases of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The College promotes the highest standards in medical education and is guided by its commitment to meeting the individual and collective needs of clinical GI practitioners. For more information, please visit http://www.acg.gi.org/.

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