Effectiveness of the Sitz bath in managing adult patients with anorectal disorders

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The objective of this review was to critically analyze and systematically review the best evidence related to the effectiveness of the Sitz bath in managing adult patients with anorectal disorders.


The text terms were established and searched systematically from the relevant databases from 1990 to November 2009 in the English language. The eligible studies that were congruent with the review's inclusion criteria were selected. The selected studies were critically appraised for their methodological validity by two independent reviews and the data were extracted from the studies by using the Joanna Briggs Institute Systems Meta Analysis of Statistical Assessment and Review Instrument. The results were presented in narrative form because statistical pooling was not possible due to clinical heterogeneity.


A total of four randomized controlled trials was included in the review. The use of the Sitz bath had no significant impact on reducing the overall intensity of pain and postoperative pain. Conflicting findings for postdefecation pain were reported. The Sitz bath had no impact on accelerating fissure or wound healing. However, the patients were satisfied with using the Sitz bath and no severe complication was reported.


There was no strong evidence to support the use of the Sitz bath for pain relief and to accelerate fissure or wound healing among adult patients with anorectal disorders. However, the Sitz bath may be prescribed for patients' satisfaction.

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