Since the first randomised controlled trial in 2006 of ‘Transanal Irrigation (TAI) in Neurogenic patients’ (Christensen et al, 2006), TAI has become a well-established therapy for patients with refractory faecal incontinence and constipation.
A greater range of products have now evolved and choosing the right product for the patient can feel overwhelming and sometimes challenging. To help guide the healthcare professional (HCP) with this choice, a framework the Decision Guide was developed and published by a working party of experts in the field (Emmanuel et al, 2019).
This straightforward and easy to follow pathway provides the key factors to consider during patient assessment for TAI, selection of equipment, choice of regime, teaching and follow up.
Following publication in 2019, the Decision Guide has undergone further evaluation by HCP champions to examine useability in clinical practice. This feedback has been captured and analysed in this latest publication: ‘A step by step decision guide for transanal irrigation: evaluating its usefulness and efficacy in clinical practice’ (Emmanuel et al, 2022).
One hundred percent of respondents found the Decision Guide to be extremely useful in clinical practice and liked the fact it is not biased towards any one product or system. Other data shows that all respondents agreed the guide aided the decision-making process and offered a framework for a standardised approach when using TAI.
The Decision Guide has been shown to empower the HCP to achieve mastery of this professional skill of using TAI with patients, ‘without the trial and error that often comes with learning over time’.