Using abdominal massage in bowel management
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Using abdominal massage in bowel management

Michelle Connor Community nurse for people with learning disabilities, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Catherine Hunt Senior community nurse for people with learning disabilities, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
Alison Lindley Lead physiotherapist for people with learning disabilities, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
John Adams Temporary lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University, Peterborough

This article describes the introduction of abdominal massage techniques by a community team as part of a total bowel management programme for people with learning disabilities. A trust-wide audit of prescribed laxative use by this client group raised concerns, and led to a more systematic approach to managing constipation in people with learning disabilities. An education programme for carers proved to be successful. Some reported that adopting abdominal massage provided further opportunity to develop the therapeutic relationship.

Nursing Standard. 28, 45, 37-42. doi: 10.7748/ns.28.45.37.e8661

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 05 December 2013

Accepted: 04 March 2014

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