The Treatment of Encopresis Using Behaviour Modification


Department of Psychiatry, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


Seymour, F. W. (1976).Aust. paediat. J., 326–329. The treatment of encopresis using behaviour modification. A method of modifying the behaviour of children with encopresis attending a child psychiatric unit is described. Treatment involved sitting the children on the toilet for 5 minutes, at regular intervals each day. The desirability of defaecation on the toilet, and clean pants, was reinforced with tokens which were later exchanged for material rewards. Laxatives and enemas were given when needed. After discharge from the ward, parents were encouraged to continue with a modified form of the above programme and to ignore soiling when it occurred. Results at follow-up for 12 children showed that 6 of the children were not soiling at all, 3 were substantially improved from before treatment, and 3 were no better.