New models of health care emphasize the critically important role of primary care in managing patients’ health. However, primary prevention and management of conditions can only be addressed by primary care teams when there is open communication about ailments. Unfortunately, some conditions, like fecal incontinence (FI), are often unreported in primary care. FI is defined as accidental solid and/or liquid leakage of stool or mucus. Estimates of prevalence are not precise, varying between 7- 15 percent among community dwellers. Though management of FI in primary care can be successful, patients are often embarrassed to discuss their condition with their provider and, similarly, primary care providers rarely screen patients for FI. As a result, many patients live silently with FI, often feeling stigmatized and with reduced quality of life. Currently, there is no consortium committed to improving the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of FI in primary care.
The aim of the project over the course of the Tier 1 funding is to:
- Convene a consortium of stakeholders (patients, providers, researchers, and others) committed to conducting CER in FI in primary care.
- Develop a stakeholder-informed CER research portfolio identifying research gaps and topics for future research prioritized by significance, capability of being carried out, technical expertise, proposed methods, and target population.
The long-term objective of Tier I funding is to use the skills, knowledge, and strength of the developed consortium to develop a successful research proposal that will improve the lives of patients living with FI.