Incontinence-Associated Dermatitis in Community-Dwelling Individuals With Fecal Incontinence

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To describe the occurrence and severity of incontinence-associated dermatitis among community-dwelling individuals with fecal incontinence.


Descriptive and comparative secondary data analysis.


One hundred eighty-nine community-dwelling individuals with fecal incontinence who participated in a study comparing the effects of dietary fiber on fecal incontinence.


A survey on the use of absorbent products that contained questions about subjects' history of skin damage was administered at the start of the study.


Incontinence-associated dermatitis occurred in 52.5% of the community-living individuals with fecal incontinence. The severity of incontinence-associated dermatitis was mostly mild to moderate and occurred periodically. Redness without broken skin was the most common manifestation (68%). Most individuals (95%) reported the location of skin damage to be the anal/rectal area. Those with double incontinence also reported dermatitis around the vagina or penis. Individuals with a greater severity of fecal incontinence had a greater severity of incontinence-associated dermatitis (r = 0.27, P = .000). Both the frequency of incontinence (r = 0.23, P < .002) and the amount of feces leaked (r = 0.23, P < .002) had a significant correlation with incontinence-associated dermatitis severity. There were no significant differences in the occurrence or severity of incontinence-associated dermatitis by sex, age, or presence of double incontinence.


A high percentage of individuals in the community with fecal incontinence suffer from incontinence-associated dermatitis at times. This population may benefit from consultation with a WOC nurse about prevention and management of incontinence-associated dermatitis.

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