Sherree Chapman and Catherine Hungerford discuss why the condition develops in older people and the limitations of current assessment tools
Constipation commonly occurs in older people, particularly in hospital or residential care settings, and leads to decreased quality of life and increased healthcare costs. Despite its frequency, however, nurses often overlook the condition. One possible reason for this may be the lack of appropriate tools or scales for nurses to assess risk factors for developing constipation. This article identifies, from the academic literature, 14 risk factors for developing constipation in older people. These factors are then considered in light of four common constipation assessment charts. The article concludes by arguing the need for more comprehensive assessment tools to, firstly, identify risk factors; and, secondly, support the implementation of appropriate preventative strategies that will enable better health outcomes for older people.
Nursing Older People. 27, 3, 16-24. doi: 10.7748/nop.27.3.16.e673Correspondence
This article has been subject to double blind peer reviewConflict of interest
Received: 23 December 2014
Accepted: 02 February 2015
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