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Dietary fibre supplementation with psyllium or gum arabic reduced incontinent stools and improved stool consistency in community living adults

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QUESTION: Does dietary fibre supplementation with psyllium or gum arabic improve faecal incontinence in community living adults with incontinence of loose or liquid stools?


Randomised {allocation concealed}*, blinded {participants, clinicians, and data analysts}*, placebo controlled trial with 8 day post-intervention comparison.


Colorectal surgical practice in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.


42 adults (mean age 61 y) with at least weekly faecal incontinence of loose or liquid stools. Exclusion criteria were rectal prolapse, colon cancer, rectal fistula, ulcerative colitis, or removal of some portion of the gastrointestinal tract. Follow up was 93%.


Participants were allocated to receive 31 days of dietary …

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  • Sources of funding: National Institute of Nursing Research; National Institute of Health; the American Federation for Aging Research; Sigma Theta Tau Zeta.

  • For correspondence: Dr D Z Bliss, University of Minnesota School of Nursing, Minneapolis, MN, USA. bliss{at}

  • A modified version of this abstract appears in Evidence-Based Medicine.

  • * Information provided by the author