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Digital rectal stimulation as an intervention in persons with spinal cord injury and upper motor neuron neurogenic bowel. An evidenced-based systematic review of the literature.

Authors
  • Nelson, Mary Elizabeth S1
  • Orr, Merle1
  • 1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
The journal of spinal cord medicine
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2021
Volume
44
Issue
4
Pages
525–532
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/10790268.2019.1696077
PMID: 31809250
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Context: Need for evidential support of practice guideline recommendations for management of neurogenic bowel management in adults with spinal cord injury.Objective: To determine evidence for digital rectal stimulation (DRS) as an intervention in the management of upper motor neuron neurogenic bowels (UMN-NB) in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI).Methods: A systematic review of the literature including research articles and practice guidelines evaluating upper motor neuron neurogenic bowel treatments and the use of digital rectal stimulation was performed using OvidMedline, PubMed and the Cochrane database and included research articles and practice guidelines. Limitations were made related to English language, patient age and focus on spinal cord injured patients. Strength of evidence was assessed using the Johns Hopkins Nursing evidence-based practice model.Results: Eleven articles were included in the systematic review. Only one used DRS as a primary intervention. There was moderate evidence for DRS in persons with SCI and UMN-NB. There was evidence of the physiologic effect of DRS and support for combining DRS with other treatment regimens.Conclusion: There is insufficient evidence to promote any one intervention for the management of UMN-NB. The promotion of DRS, and education as to the proper technique for DRS should remain an emphasis of education of home management of UMN-NB in persons with SCI. Future research should focus on the use of standardized, validated tools to evaluate management techniques for UMN-NB.

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