Indexed on: 11 Jun '10Published on: 11 Jun '10Published in: Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility
There has been a controversy regarding the usefulness of biofeedback therapy for functional constipation or fecal incontinence. This study was performed to investigate the long-term clinical efficacy of biofeedback therapy.Sixty-four patients with constipation or fecal incontinence received biofeedback therapy for 4 weeks. Symptom improvements were evaluated immediately after the completion of biofeedback therapy and during the follow-up period of about 12 to 64 months.Twenty-five patients in the constipation group [mean age of 52.1 years, 16 men (64.0%)] received 6.2 sessions of biofeedback therapy. Improvement of constipation after the completion of biofeedback therapy was as follows: major response (or improvement) in 3 patients (12.0%), fair in 6 (24.0%), minor in 11 (44.0%) and none in 5 (20.0%). Among 9 patients who showed major or fair improvement, 8 patients (88.9%) maintained the symptom improvement through the long term follow-up periods. Thirty-nine patients in the fecal incontinence group [59.7 years old, 15 men (38.5%)] received 6.8 sessions of biofeedback therapy. Improvement of incontinence after the completion of biofeedback therapy was as follows: major improvement in 6 patients (15.4%), fair in 14 (35.9%), minor in 14 (35.9%), and none in 5 (12.8%). All 11 patients with major or fair improvement maintained the symptom improvement to the end of follow-up periods.Symptom improvements after biofeedback therapy were disappointing in both the constipation and incontinence group. However, when the symptom improvements were classified as major or fair, the improvements continued for at least a year.