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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 25, Issue 2, Pages 89-92
Original Article

Comparing the Efficacy of Biofeedback and Balloon-Assisted Training in the Treatment of Dyssynergic Defecation

Abbs Ali Pourmomeny,1 Mohammad Hassan Emami,2 Mahboobeh Amooshahi,1 and Peyman Adibi2

1Department of Physiotherapy, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2Department of Internal Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Received 15 June 2010; Accepted 19 August 2010

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Dyssynergic defecation does not respond appropriately to routine treatments for constipation. Recently, research has shown that biofeedback therapy is useful in anorectal dyssynergia.

OBJECTIVE: To compare two treatment modalities for patients experiencing dyssynergic defecation.

METHODS: Sixty-five subjects with dyssynergic defecation were recruited and randomly allocated to one of two treatment groups: balloon defecation training and biofeedback therapy. In the first group, a balloon was inserted into the rectum and inflated by water injection so that the patient experienced the sensation of a full rectum and, thus, the need to defecate. The patient was subsequently asked to reject the balloon. In the biofeedback group, the pen electrode of an electromyographic biofeedback device was inserted into the rectum, with the patient subsequently being asked to increase abdominal pressure and relax the rectal muscles accordingly.

RESULTS: The findings showed a reduction in constipation in both groups. The ability to reject the balloon (volume and time) was significantly better in postintervention measurements; however, better results were found in the biofeedback arm of the study. Patient satisfaction after treatment reached 52% with balloon training and 79% in the biofeedback group. Reports of incomplete evacuation and the need for digit use during defecation remained constant after treatment in balloon-trained patients.

CONCLUSION: Biofeedback training appeared to be superior to balloon defecation training and resulted in measurable changes in subjective and objective variables of dyssynergia.