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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 46

Novel effects of traditional wooden toothbrush on bowel motility symptoms in spinal cord injury patients; Findings from a pilot quasi-experimental study


1 Department of Anatomical Sciences and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
3 Medical Students Research Centre, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
4 Isfahan Endocrine and Metabolism Research Centre, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
5 Department of Internal Medicine, Integrative Functional Gastroenterology Research Centre, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
6 Fellow of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Amrollah Ebrahimi Varzaneh
Fellow of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical sciences, Isfahan
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_174_16

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Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic effect of traditional wooden toothbrush usage on most severe constipation, which usually occurs in spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. Methods: In a quasi-experimental study, 61 SCI patients were selected who had injuries in different spinal levels (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar), and severe constipation from one defection in a few days to 3 weeks. They were recommended to use traditional wooden toothbrush for 5 min twice a day, after breakfast and dinner, over a 6 weeks period. Two proper standard scales, called neurogenic bowel dysfunction (NBD), and “Constipation Assessment Scale (CAS),” were used for evaluating the changes in patients' gastrointestinal (GI) habits during the period of using the wooden toothbrush. Through these scales (NBD and CAS), the therapeutic effects of traditional wooden toothbrush usage on the severity of constipation before and after intervention were measured. Results: The mean of NBD and CAS scores were reduced significantly, from 8.95 ± 0.78 and 3.34 ± 0.28; respectively, to 3.03 ± 0.57 and 1.74 ± 0.25, after 6 weeks using traditional wooden toothbrush (P < 0.0001). There was a significant difference in terms of NBD scores in patients with different levels of injury (P < 0.01), particularly in patients with thoracic injury, before (10.52 ± 0.88 ) and after (3.13 ± 0.78) treatment, respectively (P < 0.0001). Eventually, all symptoms of bowel problems improved significantly after the intervention (P < 0.05). Conclusions: The use of traditional wooden toothbrush lead to the improvement of bowel and defecation problems in SCI patients. Yet more studies, particularly randomized control clinical trials are needed to investigate the effect of using wooden toothbrush on other GI reflexes. In addition, if some clinical trials are devised to study the effects of wooden toothbrush on both conscious and unconscious patients in ICU, best results are expected to be found on keeping their mouth and teeth hygiene, as well as, getting rid of their constipations.


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