Dr. Shruthi Ananthram 19pgdg036 Abstract

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Prevalence of Constipation in the Inmates of an Old Age Home:

A cross-sectional Study

Dr. Shruthi Ananthram



Background: Constipation is one the most common complaints among the elderly. Constipation not only impacts the physical wellbeing, but also impairs quality of life. The management of constipation in the elderly is especially challenging due to reduced physical activity, reduced water and fiber intake and existing co-morbidities in this population.
Aims and Objectives: To study the prevalence of chronic constipation in all elders residing at Ashraya Seva Trust, Rajajinagar, Bangalore, and to identify characteristics related to constipation.
Materials and methods: A questionnaire was administered to the 52 residents of an old age home and their answers recorded by the interviewer. The diagnosis of constipation was made based on the Rome IV criteria and the Bristol stool chart.
Results: The prevalence of severe constipation was found to be 44% in our study participants. It more prevalent among the females as compared to males. A significantly higher proportion of the constipated had physical impairments, physical restraints, problems with nutrition, and higher numbers of drugs for regular use.
Conclusion: This study throws light on the prevalence of constipation and its associated risk factors in the elderly population in an old age home. Consequences of constipation can be substantial. Given the growing proportion of older adults living in assisted care facilities, identification of risk factors leading to constipation and its effective management will be increasingly necessary.
Keywords: constipation, Rome criteria, elderly, aged, geriatric assessment, homes for the aged.


Introduction/ Background information:
Patients with chronic constipation have lower scores for physical functioning, mental health, general health perception, and bodily pain when compared to respondents without constipation. A study among the elderly found that participants were preoccupied with pursuing daily bowel movements, felt lethargic and tired, and that constipation had a negative impact on their mood. Furthermore, constipation has been described as a cause of social isolation, and a group of frail elderly people described constipation as an intrusive condition, using words like terrible, awful, and horrible. Additionally, constipation is often described as a private issue, and adults struggling with constipation are reluctant to talk about it with both relatives and health-care professionals.
Although constipation is not a physiologic consequence of normal aging, decreased mobility, medications, underlying diseases, and rectal sensory-motor dysfunction may all contribute to its increased prevalence in older adults.

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