Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for the Treatment of Ulcerative Colitis: A Qualitative Assessment of Patient Perceptions and Experiences Academic Article uri icon

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  • Abstract Background Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a promising experimental therapy for ulcerative colitis (UC), yet patient acceptance remains poorly understood. Aims The aim of this study was to explore perceptions and experiences of adult patients who received FMT for UC. Methods This study used a qualitative descriptive design with thematic content analysis. Patients who were approached for enrollment in a clinical trial (NCT02606032) were invited to participate in face-to-face semistructured interviews. Two groups were interviewed: those who chose to pursue FMT and those who declined FMT. Non-FMT patients were interviewed once; FMT patients were interviewed twice at pre- and post-treatment. Results Nine FMT patients (78% female, average age 46.7 years old) and eight non-FMT patients (50% female, average age 39.5 years old) were enrolled. Pretreatment themes included FMT as a natural therapy, external barriers to pursuing FMT, concerns with FMT and factors influencing the decision to pursue FMT. While both groups generally perceived FMT as a natural therapy, pre-FMT patients showed greater acceptance of alternative medicine. Both groups demonstrated poor understanding and similar initial concerns with product cleanliness. Pre-FMT patients were motivated to pursue FMT by feelings of last resort. Post-FMT themes included therapeutic impact of FMT and psychosocial impact of FMT. Post-FMT patients reported overall satisfaction and a unanimous preference for FMT over conventional medications. Conclusion This is the first study to assess adult patient perceptions and real-life experiences with FMT for the treatment of UC. By improving patient education, we may achieve greater acceptance of FMT.


  • Chauhan, Usha
  • Popov, Jelena
  • Farbod, Yasamin
  • Kalantar, Mona
  • Wolfe, Melanie
  • Moayyedi, Paul
  • Marshall, John K
  • Halder, Smita
  • Kaasalainen, Sharon

publication date

  • December 3, 2021