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Case study – Patient informed decision-making on passive anal incontinence

Case study provided by Julie Wands, Library Manager (South), NHS Ayrshire & Arran

Project outline: 

A service user suffering from passive anal incontinence contacted the Care Opinion website regarding the treatment proposed by her consultant – a colostomy. The patient had started to look into possible alternatives, which she believed would be preferable to her. Following her post on the Care Opinion website, the NHS Ayrshire & Arran Patient Feedback Manager suggested that the local NHS library investigate the evidence base for non-surgical treatment for passive anal incontinence. A literature search was conducted by the librarian and the results provided to the Patient Feedback Manager and to the patient. The patient discussed the evidence provided with her continence nurse and decided to use one of the alternatives – an anal irrigation kit – rather than have the colostomy. After using the irrigation kit for several months, the patient reported it to be a “complete success”. Furthermore, significant cost savings were made by the health board through the avoidance of surgery and ongoing stoma costs.

Quote from service user:

“[The anal irrigation kit]is easy to use and the results have been perfect…absolutely continent again after 6 years of very frequent passive incontinence…at long last I have my quality of life back.”

Quote form Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager, NHS Ayrshire & Arran:

“I was staggered by the ball park saving made your alternative treatment, so much so that I recalculated it several times to be sure. It would be an even greater success story if other people too have benefitted from the same thing – NO colostomy and a simple irrigation process.”

Full story:


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