Managing constipation in primary care
Art & Science Previous     Next

Managing constipation in primary care

Gary Mitchell Doctoral student/registered nurse, Queen’s University Belfast

While bowel problems are generally not life-threatening, says Gary Mitchell, following best practice guidelines will enable the practitioner to identify possible underlying causes and manage the patient’s problem appropriately

The management of constipation can be challenging because it is often considered self-correcting and not usually life-threatening. While these assumptions can be correct, constipation has the potential to be detrimental to the wellbeing of people affected, and long-term mismanagement of the condition can mask potential underlying causes. While nursing professionals in primary care are often aware of the available treatment options for constipation, there is limited evidence available to assist them in carrying out an appropriate clinical assessment on which to inform treatment choices. This paper will illuminate best clinical practice in primary care for the assessment of constipation, using history taking from the patient and inspection, palpation, percussion and auscultation of the abdominal area.

Primary Health Care. 24, 5, 18-22. doi: 10.7748/phc.24.5.18.e890

Correspondence

gmitchell08@qub.ac.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 11 February 2014

Accepted: 05 March 2014

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in

OR

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
Subscribe
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

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

Or