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Study Findings

Thank you to all of the participants who volunteered their valuable time to participate in this research.


Currently research exploring paruresis and parcopresis, anxiety relating to urinating and having bowel motions in public respectively is limited. While there are several validated measures of paruresis, no valid measure assessing parcopresis is currently available. The present study investigates the development and validation of the Shy Bladder and Bowel Scale (SBBS) which assesses both paruresis and parcopresis. Two participant groups were utilised to validate this scale, a student psychology cohort (n = 387) and a public cohort (n = 334). An eight-item two-factor model was identified in the psychology cohort and confirmed in the public cohort. The two-factor SBBS was found to be a valid and reliable measure of paruresis and parcopresis. Paruresis and parcopresis-related concerns were associated with social anxiety in both cohorts. Subscales for both paruresis and parcopresis (i.e. difficulty, interference and distress) were positively correlated, suggesting individuals are likely to report similar levels of concerns across both conditions. Further, individuals self-identifying with either paruresis or parcopresis reported significantly higher scores on the respective SBBS subscales than non-identifying paruresis and parcopresis individuals. The SBBS also demonstrated strong test–retest reliability in a small sample of adults (n = 13). Overall, the developed scale provides clinicians and researchers with a valuable tool to evaluate both paruresis and parcopresis.

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