Original article| Volume 96, ISSUE 1, P49-55.e1, January 2015

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Phenomenological Study of Neurogenic Bowel From the Perspective of Individuals Living With Spinal Cord Injury

Published:August 26, 2014DOI:



      To gain greater insight into the lived experience of individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) and neurogenic bowel dysfunction (NBD).


      Qualitative (phenomenologic) interviews and analysis.




      Individuals with SCI and NBD (N=19) residing in the community.


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measure

      Concerns related to living with NBD after SCI.


      Challenges related to living with SCI and NBD included costs and requirements, emotional impact, diet, education and employment, intimacy and interpersonal relations, social participation, spontaneity and daily schedule, travel, lack of appropriate and consistent assistance, loss of autonomy (independence, privacy), lack of predictability and fear of incontinence, medical complications, pain or discomfort, physical effort of the bowel routine, physical experience, and time requirements.


      Living with NBD presents many challenges. When categorized according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, identified domains include body functions and structures, activity, participation, environmental factors, and personal factors. Identified issues have implications for improving clinical management and should be assessed when determining the impact and efficacy of interventions.


      List of abbreviations:

      ICF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health), NBD (neurogenic bowel dysfunction), QOL (quality of life), SCI (spinal cord injury)
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