Reflective accounts

Constipation

A CPD article enhanced Sharon Stewart’s knowledge of the prevention of constipation and its management

A CPD article enhanced Sharon Stewart’s knowledge of the prevention of constipation and its management.

Abstract

After reading the article, I have gained an increased understanding of how to identify the signs and symptoms of constipation in adults, the factors that contribute to the development of the condition, and the strategies that can help to prevent recurrence. I have improved my knowledge of laxatives and their mode of action, and the use of irrigation and biofeedback therapy in treating the condition.

Constipation is a common condition characterised by difficult and/or incomplete evacuation of faeces. It may affect an individual’s activities of daily living and cause them discomfort and distress. It may be prevented by a change in diet and an increase in exercise. Identifying the causes of constipation and undertaking bowel assessment are essential to prevent the condition.

As a staff nurse in an older adult psychiatric assessment unit, I am aware that knowledge of the prevention and management of constipation is relevant to the clients admitted. Antidepressants, antipsychotics, diuretics and opiates used by older people can cause constipation. I intend to encourage individuals to increase their fibre intake and consume an increased amount of fruit and vegetables to prevent constipation.

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This reflective account is based on NS788 Collins BR, O’Brien L (2015) Prevention and management of constipation in adults. Nursing Standard. 29, 32, 49-58.

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