Encopresis and family attitudes
The current study investigated whether the provision of parent and child information booklets improved intervention outcome. It also explored the relationship between pre-intervention knowledge and family attitudes with intervention outcome. An independent samples design with correlational measures was used. Children were randomly allocated to a Standard intervention Group (N = 10) or a Standard Intervention plus Group (N = 12). The Standard Intervention plus Group received parent and child information booklets in addition to the standard clinic intervention. A number of standardised and non-standardised measures were used to assess child and parent views. After ten appointments 77% of cases showed a reduction in soiling episodes and 59% of cases showed an increase in the frequency of motions passed in the toilet. Having two parents living at home, a young father with a high socio-economic status and the use of bowel related medication all significantly correlated with outcome. Parent and child responses on shared Family Attitude Scales tended to have significant positive correlations. Parents were found to significantly underestimate the psychological impact of soiling on their child and children were found to be more likely to attribute their soiling to physical factors than their parents were. The provision of information booklets was associated with a significant improvement in intervention outcome. A positive non-significant correlation between pre-intervention parent and child knowledge and intervention outcome suggested that better knowledge was associated with better intervention outcome. The Family Attitude Scales used in the current study suggested that a low key, non-blaming response to soiling episodes was likely to be most helpful. The mutually beneficial interaction between medical and psychological interventions are discussed. The current study's findings and their clinical and theoretical implications are considered. The limitations of the present study are acknowledged and ideas for future research are presented.