Prevention and management of constipation in adults
Brigitte Rosemarie Collins Lead nurse, St Mark’s Hospital, Harrow, England
Lorraine O’Brien Clinical nurse specialist, St Mark’s Hospital, Harrow, England
Constipation is a common, often chronic, condition that is a health concern for providers of care. The condition can be distressing and although seldom life-threatening can lead to patient discomfort and debilitating effects on patients’ quality of life. Initial management of chronic constipation should include lifestyle changes and increased fibre and fluids. More active interventions include the use of laxatives and other medications, irrigation and biofeedback therapy. Some patients may require surgery. This article provides an overview of the strategies used to prevent constipation in adults as well as the possible treatment options available.
Nursing Standard. 29, 32, 49-58. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.32.49.e9571Correspondence
This article has been subject to double blind peer review
Received: 02 September 2014
Accepted: 20 January 2015