Table 1

 Terms and definitions of defecation problems

ConstipationDifficulty or delay or distress in defecation
Overflow faecal incontinenceFrequent passage of small volumes of stool in clothing usually without sensation (often referred to as “soiling”)
Non-retentive faecal incontinenceEpisodic passage of normal volumes of stool in socially inappropriate places including clothing (often referred to as “encopresis”)
Faecal impactionRetention of faeces usually palpable per abdomen to a degree that spontaneous evacuation is unlikely
MegarectumA rectum of high capacity that empties incompletely or following long delays
WithholdingAn active behaviour resulting in a change in posture that reduces the likelihood of defecation