Age differences in patients evaluated for constipation: Constipation characteristics, symptoms, and bowel and dietary habits

Department of Nursing and Health Science, California State University, East Bay, CA, USA.
Journal of wound, ostomy, and continence nursing: official publication of The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society / WOCN (Impact Factor: 1.18). 11/2010; 37(6):667-76. DOI: 10.1097/WON.0b013e3181f91082
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of age on various characteristics of constipation. We also sought to determine if age, comorbid conditions, and specific clinical characteristics such as use of pain medications were associated with an increase in the frequency of constipation-associated symptoms.
The sample comprised 518 patients 18 years or older with a primary diagnosis of constipation. Subjects were drawn from the clinical database of all patients (n = 1228) referred from primary care or gastroenterology practices to the University of California, San Francisco Center for Pelvic Physiology between March 2003 and October 2007.
Cross-sectional study.
Patients completed 2 questionnaires. The clinical questionnaire obtained information on demographic characteristics and previous medical history. A second, investigator-developed questionnaire provided data about characteristics of constipation, symptoms of constipation, as well as various bowel and dietary habits.
: Both younger and middle-aged patients were more than twice as likely as older patients to have infrequent bowel movements and abdominal bloating and to use position changes to facilitate bowel evacuations. In addition, younger patients were nearly 3 times as likely to report abdominal pain as older patients. Patients with constipation who present at a younger age report a higher frequency of certain characteristics, symptoms, and bowel habits.
Screening of younger patients for this common problem is warranted.

28 Reads
  • Source
    • "[2] The prevalence increases with age, [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] but one study found that younger and middle-aged persons reported significantly lower bowel movement frequency than did older persons. [7] The normal variation in bowel movement frequency is wide, [8] and the number of bowel movements is inadequate as a single measure of constipation. The Rome criteria have been used to diagnose constipation and the number of bowel movements is only one of several criteria. "

    Preview · Article · Dec 2014
  • Source
    • "In addition, in elderly people, a decrease in intestinal peristalsis, abdominal muscle elasticity and mucus secretion is seen [2]. In studies conducted, it has been seen that constipation gradually increases after the age of 65 and the biggest increase is at the age of 75 [20]. This study also showed an increased risk of constipation with age. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background. Preventing constipation is very important for patients in neurosurgery clinics and especially for those who had cerebral hemorrhage and brain tumor surgery as it might lead to elevated intracranial ressure. Therefore, it is necessary to diagnose constipation especially in individuals in neurosurgery clinics. Aim. This study has been designed as a descriptive and a cross-sectional study intending to identify constipation risk and the factors affecting it in neurosurgery patients. Material and methods. The population of the study consists of patients who stayed at a university hospital in Turkey between April 2011 and April 2012, and the sample population consists of 231 people selected by random sampling method. Data were collected using a Patient Information Form, Constipation Severity Instrument (CSI) and Constipation Risk Assessment Scale (CRAS). Data were analyzed using the SPSS version 11.5 for Windows Results. 55,4% of the patients in the study were women and the average age was 43,80±13,65. CSI Total score average of the patients at admission was low (14,27±11,28). According to CRAS, 14,3% of the patients at admission, 40,7% of the patients on the 3rd day of surgery, and 32,5% of the patients at discharge were in medium and high risk group in terms of constipation. It has been determined that women, old people, people who use analgesics, and people who stay long at a hospital are at higher constipation risk. Conclusions. As result of the data gathered in the study, it has been concluded that nurses working in neurosurgery clinics should not ignore preoperative and postoperative constipation risk in order to be able to give integrated care.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The symptom of bloating and sometimes associated increase in abdominal girth (distension) is often described by patients as very intrusive, significantly impacting their quality of life. Indeed many patients rank it as their most bothersome symptom, even above abdominal pain. Despite this fewer patients appear to seek medical attention for this problem compared with other gastrointestinal symptoms. This has been attributed to the fact that most sufferers usually have other symptoms, such as abdominal pain, which they may perceive as potentially more serious, and hence seek preferential medical advice and treatment. This review aims to clarify the meaning of the terms bloating and distension, explores their association with constipation, and discusses possible pathophysiologies, in particular the relevance of intraluminal gas handling.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Best practice & research. Clinical gastroenterology