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Encopresis (cont.)

Encopresis Self-Care at Home

Although parents will be following a regimen recommended by the child's health care professional, most of the work of treating encopresis is done at home.

It is very important that parents and other caregivers keep a complete record of the child's medication use and bowel movements during the treatment period. This record can be very helpful in determining how well the treatment is working and whether adjustments need to be made.

Encopresis Treatment

There are many different regimens for the treatment of encopresis however most rely on the following three principles:

  1. Empty the colon of stool
  2. Establish regular soft and painless bowel movements
  3. Maintain very regular bowel habits

While there is almost always a large behavioral component to chronic encopresis, behavioral therapy alone, such as offering rewards or reasoning with the child, usually is not effective. Rather, a combination of medical and behavioral therapy works best.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/19/2016
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Encopresis »

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third edition (DSM-III), encopresis is defined as the "repeated involuntary passage of feces into places not appropriate for that purpose...the event must take place for at least 6 months, the chronologic and mental age of the child must be at least 4 years."

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