Symptom experiences of chronically constipated women with pelvic floor disorders.

Elizabeth Fuller, Janet Welch, Jane H. Backer, Susan Rawl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

PURPOSE: Chronic constipation is a frequent and bothersome problem in women with pelvic floor disorders, and standard treatment protocols are often ineffective. The purposes of this study were to describe the constipation symptom experience, perceived effectiveness of symptom-management strategies, and the lifestyle limitations associated with constipation symptoms among women with pelvic floor disorders. DESIGN: A cross-sectional descriptive design was used. SETTING: Participants were recruited from a tertiary-level outpatient urogynecology center. SAMPLE: Thirty women with pelvic floor disorders completed a self-administered instrument at the time of their clinic appointment. METHODS: The instrument included questions about the distress, frequency, intensity, and occurrence of constipation symptoms. In addition, the effectiveness of symptom-management strategies used to treat constipation and the lifestyle limitations associated with constipation were assessed. FINDINGS: The symptom experience of chronic constipation in these women included multiple distressing and uncomfortable symptoms that resulted in mild lifestyle limitations. Although self-management strategies were perceived to have limited effectiveness, the most effective strategies used by the women to manage constipation included use of laxatives, using their hand in or near the vagina or rectum to expel stool, and using an enema. CONCLUSIONS: More effective interventions are needed to promote satisfactory symptom management of chronic constipation for women with pelvic floor disorders. Further assessment of outcomes, including comfort and depression, may be warranted. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: A more thorough assessment of constipation symptoms in this population is recommended. A combination of symptom-management strategies may be needed to relieve the multiple symptoms associated with constipation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Nurse Specialist
Volume19
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005

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Pelvic Floor Disorders
Constipation
Life Style
Laxatives
Symptom Assessment
Enema
Vagina
Self Care
Clinical Protocols
Rectum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Leadership and Management
  • LPN and LVN

Cite this

Symptom experiences of chronically constipated women with pelvic floor disorders. / Fuller, Elizabeth; Welch, Janet; Backer, Jane H.; Rawl, Susan.

In: Clinical Nurse Specialist, Vol. 19, No. 1, 01.2005.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fuller, Elizabeth ; Welch, Janet ; Backer, Jane H. ; Rawl, Susan. / Symptom experiences of chronically constipated women with pelvic floor disorders. In: Clinical Nurse Specialist. 2005 ; Vol. 19, No. 1.
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