Content » Vol 45, Issue 2

Original report

Neurogenic bowel management after spinal cord injury: Malaysian experience

Julia Patrick Engkasan, Siti Suhaida Sudin
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Malaya, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1074


Objectives: To describe the bowel programmes utilized by individuals with spinal cord injury; and to determine the association between the outcome of the bowel programmes and various interventions to facilitate defecation.
Study design: A cross-sectional study.
Participants: Individuals with spinal cord injury who have neurogenic bowel dysfunction.
Methods: Face-to-face interviews were conducted using a self-constructed questionnaire that consisted of: (i) demographic and clinical characteristics of the participants; (ii) interventions to facilitate defecation; (iii) bowel care practices; (iv) outcome of the bowel programme (incidence of incontinence and duration of the evacuation procedure); and (v) participant satisfaction with their bowel programme.
Results: The majority (79. 2%) of subjects used multiple interventions for bowel care. Duration of the evacuation procedure was more than 60 min in 28. 0% of participants. Water intake of more than 2 l/day was associated with longer duration of bowel care. Only 8. 0% of participants had at least one episode of incontinence per month. The majority of participants (84. 8%) were satisfied with their bowel programme.
Conclusion: Patients used multiple interventions to manage their bowels and spent a substantial amount of time performing bowel care. Nevertheless, the incidence of incontinence was low and satisfaction with their bowel programme was high.

Lay Abstract


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