Recruitment of new centres to the snapshot audit is now closed; participating sites can enter data onto REDCap up until 23 May 2023.

Professor Alaa El-Hussuna describes what we want to find out from this audit and invites you to join us in this important collaborative research.



It is estimated that faecal incontinence (FI) is a common problem, affecting about 9% of Western populations. However, not all patients consult for their problem and the numbers of affected patients reaching hospital care is unknown. Current treatment pathways are have poor evidence bases and are thought to vary greatly between countries. This audit will study the incidence of patients presenting to coloproctologists with FI, current practice including diagnostics, conservative and surgical techniques across different units in Europe and the world.


To explore incidence of FI in patients attending colorectal surgical clinics, treatment choices and accessibility to diagnostic tools / advanced treatments across the international cohort.


Multi-center, international snapshot audit. During the study period all eligible patients will be recorded contemporaneously over an eight-consecutive weeks period. Data will be entered and saved in a REDCap secured database. The audit will be set up using experience from previous ESCP audits in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2022 which included approximately 18,000 patients from more than 50 countries. The results will be published in international journals and will be prepared in accordance with guidelines set by the STROBE (strengthening the reporting of observational studies in epidemiology) statement for observational studies.


Collection of patient demographics, diagnostic and intervention details will be collected. Outcomes to be measured include the volume of FI patients consulting clinical practice per surgeon.


This multicentre, global prospective audit will be delivered by consultant colorectal and general surgeons as well as trainees. The data obtained will lead to better understanding of the incidence of FI, treatment and diagnostic possibilities. This snapshot audit will be hypothesis generating and inform areas needing future prospective study.



Register your team to take part in the audit here:

Audit period: Any consecutive 8-week period starting between 9 January 2023 – 28 February 2023.


  • 9 January to 28 February 2023 - Data collection period starts & participant identification begins - sites collect 8 weeks of consecutive patient operations (start date extended to 28 March 2023; begin data collection on any date between 9 January and 28 March)
  • 24 April 2023 - 2023 REDCap database locked - this is the deadline for data submission (deadline for data submission extended to 23 May 2023)
  • 21 September 2023 - Final data at ESCP 2023 Vilnius