Abdominal massage for constipation in children
A&S Science Previous     Next

Abdominal massage for constipation in children

Melanie Smith Registered nurse, Newcastle Community Team for Learning Disabilities
Lucy Moss Research psychologist, Newcastle Community Team for Learning Disabilities

Melanie Smith and Lucy Moss introduce a simple massage technique that can be applied as an adjunct to standard treatments for constipation. Although the techniques discussed were developed specifically for use with children with learning disabilities, they are equally applicable to the treatment of constipation in people of all ages

Physical contact between people is a powerful form of communication, and also a basic behavioural need (Bowlby 1969, Bowlby 1973, Ainsworth et al 1978, Main 1990). Positively applied, it can be a non-threatening demonstration of care and social acceptance that cannot be replaced by words alone (Watson and Watson 1997, Keltner and Shiota 2003). If such contact can be developed in a positive way to help alleviate suffering through controlled therapy such as massage, then the benefits for patients and clinical management are readily apparent (Huntley and Ernst 2000). This is especially the case if the massage can be applied by the primary caregiver, rather than a clinician (Cullen and Barlow 2004).

Learning Disability Practice. 11, 4, 33-36. doi: 10.7748/ldp2008.

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now