STUDY DESIGN: International expert working group.
OBJECTIVE: To develop an International Bowel Function Basic Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Data Set presenting a standardized format for the collection and reporting of a minimal amount of information on bowel function in daily practice or in research.
SETTING: Working group consisting of members appointed by the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) and the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCoS).
METHODS: A draft prepared by the working group was reviewed by Executive Committee of the International SCI Standards and Data Sets, and later by ISCoS Scientific Committee and the ASIA Board. Relevant and interested scientific and professional (international) organizations and societies (approximately 40) were also invited to review the data set and it was posted on the ISCoS and ASIA websites for 3 months to allow comments and suggestions. The ISCoS Scientific Committee, Council and ASIA Board received the data set for final review and approval.
RESULTS: The International Bowel Function Basic SCI Data Set includes the following 12 items: date of data collection, gastrointestinal or anal sphincter dysfunction unrelated to SCI, surgical procedures on the gastrointestinal tract, awareness of the need to defecate, defecation method and bowel care procedures, average time required for defecation, frequency of defecation, frequency of fecal incontinence, need to wear pad or plug, medication affecting bowel function/constipating agents, oral laxatives and perianal problems.
CONCLUSION: An International Bowel Function Basic SCI Data Set has been developed.