Fecal continence outcomes and potential disparities for patients with anorectal malformations treated at referral institutions for pediatric colorectal surgery.
PURPOSE: Fecal incontinence is a problem for many patients born with an anorectal malformation (ARM) that can impact quality of life. It is unknown if racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities relate to fecal continence in these children. We sought to examine outcomes and potential disparities in care.
METHODS: We performed a multicenter retrospective study of children > 3y with ARM evaluated at sites participating in the Pediatric Colorectal and Pelvic Learning Consortium (PCPLC). The primary outcome was fecal continence. We evaluated for associations between fecal continence and race, sex, age, and insurance status.
RESULTS: 509 patients with ARM from 11 institutions were included. Overall, 24% reported complete fecal continence, and fecal continence was associated with older age (p < .001). For school-aged children, 27% reported complete continence, while 53% reported none. On univariate analysis, patients with combined private and public insurance showed lower rates of continence when compared to those with private insurance (23 vs. 12%; p = 0.02). Age was associated with continence on univariate and multivariable analyses.
CONCLUSION: Rates of complete fecal continence in this population are low. Differences based on payor status may exist. There were no observed disparities related to sex and race. Further investigation is warranted to improve care for this patient population.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III.
TYPE OF STUDY: Multi-institutional retrospective comparative study.
Pediatric surgery international
Humans; Child; Anorectal Malformations; Retrospective Studies; Rectum; Colorectal Surgery; Quality of Life; Anal Canal; Fecal Incontinence
Anorectal malformation; Fecal continence; Racial disparities; Socioeconomic disparities.
Rice-Townsend SE, Nicassio L, Glazer D, et al. Fecal continence outcomes and potential disparities for patients with anorectal malformations treated at referral institutions for pediatric colorectal surgery. Pediatr Surg Int. 2023;39(1):157. Published 2023 Mar 23. doi:10.1007/s00383-023-05447-5