Diet and Fecal Incontinence in Senior Women

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University of Pennsylvania




Accidental Bowel Leakage
Bowel Incontinence
Fecal Incontinence


Behavioral: Diet Modification Pilot Program (DPM)

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


Investigators will conduct a single-arm pre-post intervention pilot study in 46 older women with Fecal Incontinence (FI), also known as Accidental Bowel Leakage (ABL). FI symptoms and stool metabolites will be measured at baseline. Intervention with the Diet Modification Program (DMP) will be administered. FI symptoms and stool metabolites will be measured after 6weeks of the intervention.

Full description

Study Procedure: Visit Schedule Visit 1(Baseline visit): Following consent, the study coordinator will obtain participant's demographic data including age, race/ethnicity, body mass index. Data on medical comorbidities, surgical history and medications known to be associated with FI will be collected. The participant's severity of FI will be measured using the St. Mark's Vaizey scale (Vaizey). The impact of FI on quality of life will be measured using the Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life scale (FIQL). The presence, type, and severity of other pelvic floor symptoms known to be associated with FI will be assessed using the Pelvic floor Distress Inventory- Short Form. Participants will be given a Food and Bowel Symptom diary and a stool collection kit at the conclusion of the visit. Visit 2(Intervention visit): Stool sample will be collected by the study coordinator. Investigators will administer the DMP. Participants will be given the booklet outlining the DMP and investigators will review the participant's Food and Symptom diary and provide targeted recommendations. The participant will be given a second Food and Symptom diary and stool collection kit to return 6 weeks after the intervention start date. Calls: Trained Nutritionists will call the participant between weeks 2 and 4 for three unannounced 24h diet recall. The 24-hour dietary recalls will be collected using Nutrition Data System for Research, a computer-based software application that facilitates the collection of recalls in a standardized fashion. Visit 3 (Follow up visit): Post intervention stool samples and Food and Symptom diary will be collected. Questionnaires including the Vaizey, FIQL, Pelvic Floow Disability Index (PFDI), and Patient Global Index of Improvement (PGI-I) will be administered by the study coordinator. Participants will receive compensation for participating in the study.


55 patients




65+ years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  1. Age ≥ 65 years,
  2. FI defined as any uncontrolled loss of liquid or solid fecal material that occurs at least monthly over the last 3 months that is bothersome enough to desire treatment,
  3. adequate mobility for independent toileting,
  4. ability for independent completion of food symptom diary,
  5. has some control of her diet and is able to make adjustments
  6. able to read and communicate in English,
  7. willing to give informed consent

Exclusion criteria

  1. Currently receiving another treatment for FI
  2. significant cognitive impairment at baseline
  3. residence in a care facility that provides meals (participants who are not able to adjust their diet will be excluded because the intervention focuses on the participant, not their care facility)
  4. current bloody diarrhea,
  5. current or past diagnosis of colorectal

Trial design

Primary purpose




Interventional model

Single Group Assignment


None (Open label)

55 participants in 1 patient group

Diet Modification Pilot Program
Other group
Investigator will administer DMP which will include a review of the booklets and any targeted recommendations based on the participant's food and symptom diary. The participant will follow the DMP for 6 weeks and report for a follow-up visit.
Behavioral: Diet Modification Pilot Program (DPM)

Trial contacts and locations



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