Twenty nine patients, aged 5-16 years, were studied to evaluate whether biofeedback training is effective in treating children with chronic constipation and encopresis; the clinical outcome at six weeks and 12 months was also evaluated. Patients received on average five biofeedback training sessions. The existence of external anal contraction or decreased rectal sensation in 16 (55%) and eight (27%) of the children, respectively was identified on manometry. After biofeedback training, 26 (90%) of the patients learned to relax the external anal sphincter; 18 (63%) normalised rectal sensation. The training resulted in a significant increase in defecation frequency and a significant decrease in encopresis. At six weeks, 16 (55%) of the patients were clinically symptom free. At follow up after 12 months the results were sustained. Only three patients showed a relapse within six months, of whom two were successfully treated with one extra training session. Biofeedback training might be a useful therapeutical approach in children with chronic constipation and encopresis.
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