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Colonic transit times and behaviour profiles in children with defecation disorders
  1. M A Benninga1,
  2. W P Voskuijl1,
  3. G W Akkerhuis2,
  4. J A Taminiau1,
  5. H A Büller3
  1. 1Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Child Psychiatry, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Paediatrics, Sophia Children Hospital, Rotterdam, Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr M A Benninga
    Academic Medical Center, G8-245, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, Netherlands;


Aims: To evaluate children referred for defecation disorders using the child behavioural checklist (CBCL).

Methods: A total of 215 patients were divided into three groups: 135 (5–14 years of age) with paediatric constipation (PC), 56 (5–17 years) with functional non-retentive faecal soiling (FNRFS), and 24 (5–16 years) with recurrent abdominal pain (RAP). Behavioural scores were correlated with colonic transit time (CTT) and anorectal function parameters (manometry and EMG).

Results: No significant differences in the mean CBCL scores were found among the three patient groups. However, children with PC and FNRFS had significantly more behavioural problems than the Dutch normative sample, while children with RAP had scores within the normal range. No significant differences were found between CTT in the patient groups, with respect to the CBCL. Similarly, no significant difference existed between children able or unable to relax their pelvic floor muscles during defecation attempts and their behaviour profiles.

Conclusion: There seems to be no relation between colonic/anorectal function and specific behavioural profiles. On the other hand, children with defecation disorders show more behavioural problems than do controls.

  • constipation
  • functional non-retentive faecal soiling
  • recurrent abdominal pain
  • child behaviour checklist
  • CBCL, child behaviour checklist
  • CTT, colonic transit time
  • EAS, external anal sphincter
  • EMG, electromyography
  • FNRFS, functional non-retentive faecal soiling
  • PC, paediatric constipation
  • RAP, recurrent abdominal pain
  • TBP, total behaviour problem score,
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