The experience of community-living women managing fecal incontinence

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33 Scopus citations


Although many women suffer from fecal incontinence (FI), little is known about their day-to-day experiences. The aims of this phenomenological study were to understand the experience of women living with FI from their perspective and to elicit women's self-care and management strategies for FI. Ten women participated in audiotaped, unstructured interviews that were transcribed into a written text. The text was analyzed using Van Manen's approach for deriving themes. The findings display the women's experience of lived time, lived space, lived relationships, and lived body and the essential theme of "controlling the body out of control." The findings demonstrate that FI is a problem that affects women in all dimensions of their lifeworld experience and describes the continual attention and self-management FI requires.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)817-835
Number of pages19
JournalWestern journal of nursing research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008


  • Fecal
  • Incontinence
  • Phenomenology
  • Women's health


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