The efficacy of biofeedback treatment on faecal incontinence and anorectal function was evaluated in eight patients with faecal incontinence treated with biofeedback training and medical therapy. Outcome and anorectal function were compared with nine faecal incontinent patients who received medical therapy alone. Three month follow up showed that 50% of patients in the biofeedback plus conventional treatment group and 56% of those treated conventionally only had improved. One year follow up showed that 13% in the biofeedback group were free of soiling and an additional 25% had improved. The results were similar in the conventionally treated group--11% were free of soiling and an additional 44% improved. Anal pressures at rest and squeeze, the rectal distension volume that induced sustained inhibition of both the external and internal anal sphincter, and continence to rectally infused saline were significantly reduced in both groups of patients compared with controls (p less than 0.05). Biofeedback treatment had no effect on these abnormal anorectal functions in either patients who improved or those who did not. The improvement in faecal incontinence was probably due to medical intervention or regression of symptoms with time, or both, and not the result of biofeedback training.
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