Prevention and management of constipation in adults
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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.

Correspondence brigitte.collins@nhs.net

Nursing Standard. 29, 32,49-58. doi: 10.7748/ns.29.32.49.e9571

Received: 02 September 2014

Accepted: 20 January 2015

Published in print: 08 April 2015

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review