person needing toiletBladder and Bowel


One of the striking findings from the 2015 Health and Wellbeing survey was the number of beneficiaries who reported having bladder and/or bowel problems - 72 (20%) had bladder or continence problems and 98 (28%) had bowel or digestive problems. Research was carried out with beneficiaries in 2016 to find the main problems they were experiencing.

What was found

The research was undertaken through an online or post survey and telephone discussions.  The 2 main areas were to collect information on:

  • bladder and continence problems
  • bowel and digestive issues

The results focused on the type of problem experienced and the length of time that this had been going on for. Following on from this they looked at how the respondents had tried to address the problem, and whether the action was self managed or through medical treatment.

In addition the beneficiaries also noted how this had affected their daily lives and general wellbeing.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that some conditions such as IBS may be more common amongst thalidomide survivors. Whilst more data is required to support this some participants felt that an additional piece of research into this aspect would be worthwhile.

View the full published article here:

Bladder & Bowel Incontinence Briefing Paper FINAL


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