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fecal incontinence, goals, management, treatment, content analysis, community
The purpose of this study was to identify goals of fecal incontinence (FI) management and their importance to community-living adults if complete continence would not be possible. Participants expressed their goals of FI management in a semi structured interview, selected others from 12 investigator-identified goals, and rated their importance. Five thematic categories emerged from the 114 participant-identified goal statements: Fecal Incontinence/Bowel Pattern, Lifestyle, Emotional Responses, Adverse Effects of Fecal Incontinence, and Self-Care Practices. Participants selected a median of seven investigator-identified goals (range = 2 to 12). Goals selected by the most participants were decreased number of leaks of stool and greater confidence in controlling fecal incontinence. These goals also had the highest importance along with decreased leakage of loose or liquid stool. The type and number of management goals identified by participants offer a toolbox of options from which to focus therapy when cure is not possible and promote patient satisfaction.