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Region Hovedstaden - en del af Københavns Universitetshospital

Living with constipation--older people's experiences and strategies with constipation before and during hospitalization

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


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BACKGROUND: Constipation is a common problem among older people. This study aimed to explore how older patients experience constipation and which strategies they used in handling the condition before and during hospitalization.

METHODS: A qualitative exploratory research design was used. Fourteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients (61-91 years of age) during hospitalization. Data were analyzed by using content analysis.

RESULTS: Themes concerning experiences were Bodily signs and symptoms of constipation; the participants described severe pain during constipation, as well as pronounced relief after bowel movements, Impact on well-being and social activities; being constipated negatively impacted their mood and limited social activities, Striving for bowel balance; the participants experienced an ongoing strive for balancing between constipation and diarrhea. Themes related to strategies were Struggling to find a solution; they were aware of different strategies to prevent and treat constipation, though the most common solution described was the use of laxatives, Wait and see; the participants were awaiting to take action until they experienced constipation symptoms, Constipation is a private problem being challenged during hospitalization; constipation was considered a private issue rarely discussed with health-care professionals.

CONCLUSION: This study illuminates the need for health-care professionals to be attentive to this issue and initiate the conversation with patients in order to advise on the management of constipation.

TidsskriftInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Sider (fra-til)30732
StatusUdgivet - 2016

ID: 52792513