The Experience of Community-Living Men Managing Fecal Incontinence


  • Cynthia Peden-McAlpine PhD ACNS BC,

  • Donna Bliss PhD FAAN,

  • Brenda Becker MS,

  • Suzan Sherman MS



The purpose of this study was to investigate the lived experience of men managing fecal incontinence (FI).


A phenomenological method was used to investigate the experience of FI. Eleven men participated in unstructured interviews. Van Manen's approach was used for data analysis.


The findings display men's experiences of living with FI through space, relationships, time and body. The essential theme generated from the analysis was “secret resignation.” Resignation of having FI was the main coping strategy of the men in this study and was reflected in the limited approaches they used to manage their symptoms. The common reason of the resignation was considering FI normal for them and a consequence of aging.

Discussion and Conclusion

The findings provide guidance to rehabilitation nurses to first inquire about the presence of FI, education men about its etiologies, and develop plans of care that address men's main concerns.