Intervention Review

Electrical stimulation for faecal incontinence in adults

  1. Gordon Hosker1,*,
  2. June D Cody2,
  3. Christine C Norton3

Editorial Group: Cochrane Incontinence Group

Published Online: 18 JUL 2007

Assessed as up-to-date: 17 MAY 2007

DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001310.pub2

How to Cite

Hosker G, Cody JD, Norton CC. Electrical stimulation for faecal incontinence in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001310. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001310.pub2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    St Mary's Hospital, The Warrell Unit, Manchester, UK

  2. 2

    University of Aberdeen, Cochrane Incontinence Review Group, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, UK

  3. 3

    St Mark's Hospital, Physiology Unit, Harrow, Middlesex, UK

*Gordon Hosker, The Warrell Unit, St Mary's Hospital, Hathersage Road, Manchester, M13 OJH, UK.

Publication History

  1. Publication Status: Edited (no change to conclusions)
  2. Published Online: 18 JUL 2007




  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary
  4. 摘要


Faecal incontinence is a particularly embarrassing and distressing condition with significant medical, social and economic implications. Electrical stimulation has been used with apparent success in the treatment of faecal incontinence. However, standards of treatment are still lacking and the magnitude of alleged benefits has yet to be established.


To determine the effects of electrical stimulation for the treatment of faecal incontinence in adults.

Search methods

We searched the Cochrane Incontinence Group Specialised Trials Register (searched 13 March 2007) and reference lists of potentially eligible articles.

Selection criteria

All randomised or quasi-randomised trials evaluating electrical stimulation in adults with faecal incontinence.

Data collection and analysis

Two reviewers assessed the methodological quality of potentially eligible trials and independently extracted data from the included trials. A wide range of outcome measures were considered.

Main results

Four eligible trials with 260 participants were identified. Findings from one trial suggest that electrical stimulation with anal biofeedback and exercises provides more short-term benefits than vaginal biofeedback and exercises for women with obstetric-related faecal incontinence. Another study found contradictory results, with no added benefit from electrical stimulation over biofeedback and exercises alone. Although all trials report that patient's symptoms are generally improved, it is not clear that this is the effect of electrical stimulation. No further conclusions could be drawn from the data available.

Authors' conclusions

At present, there are insufficient data to allow reliable conclusions to be drawn on the effects of electrical stimulation in the management of faecal incontinence. There is a suggestion that electrical stimulation may have a therapeutic effect, but this is not certain. Larger, more generalisable trials are needed.


Plain language summary

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary
  4. 摘要

Electrical stimulation for faecal incontinence in adults

Faecal incontinence (inability to control bowel movements or leaking stool from the anus) can be a very embarrassing and socially restricting problem. There are many possible causes, including childbirth damage to the muscles which control bowel movements. Direct electrical stimulation of these muscles has been used to try to help people with faecal incontinence. The review found that there is not enough evidence from trials to judge whether electrical stimulation is helpful. Exercises and electrical stimulation used in the anus may be more helpful than vaginal exercises for women with faecal incontinence after childbirth.



  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Plain language summary
  4. 摘要







我們搜尋Cochrane Incontinence Group Specialised Trials Register(搜尋日期為2007年3月13日)及可能合適論文的參考文獻列表。











此翻譯計畫由臺灣國家衛生研究院(National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan)統籌。