Biofeedback treatment in chronically constipated patients with dyssynergic defecation

Miguel A Simón, Ana M. Bueno, Montserrat Durán


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of electromyographic biofeedback training in chronically constipated patients with dyssynergic defecation. With this purpose, ten patients (4 males, 6 females) with dyssynergic defecation unresponsive to dietary corrections and fibre supplements were selected and enclosed in the study on the basis of fulfilled the Rome III criteria for this functional gastrointestinal disorder. The study was carried out following a series of defined phases: clinical and psychophysiological assessment prior to the treatment (4 weeks), EMG-biofeedback treatment (8 sessions, two per week) and follow-up (4 weeks) one month later. In all phases, four clinical variables were assessed through self-monitoring (frequency of defecations per week, sensation of incomplete evacuation, difficulty evacuation level, and perianal pain at defecation); moreover, psychophysiological measures were obtained through electromyography (EMG) of the external anal sphincter. Results show significant improvements in psychophysiological measures (EMG-activity during straining to defecate and anismus index), as well as in clinical variables. Biofeedback’s benefits were maintained at the follow-up period.

Palabras clave

dyssynergic defecation; chronic constipation; functional defecation disorders; EMG-biofeedback treatment

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