Skip to main content

Study of constipation in a geriatric hospital, day hospital, dold people’s home and at home

Abstract

A study of constipation and related factors was carried out in 439 geriatric hospital patients, 183 people living in two old people’s homes, and 78 patients visiting a geriatric day hospital. In addition, a cross-sectional survey of constipation and related factors was undertaken in 138 people older than 74 years and 74 people aged 41 to 50 years living at home. Constipation and the use of laxatives were most frequent in the geriatric hospital (79% and 76% respectively), followed by the old people’s homes (59% and 60%), the day hospital (29% and 31%), elderly living at home (38% and 20%) and middle-aged living at home (12% and 5%). The results suggest an increiased risk of constipation for the persons walking less than 0.5 km daily [relative risk (RR) = 1.7], walking with help (RR = 3.4), chairbound (RR = 6.9) and bedbound (RR = 15.9). The relative risk of constipation increased for the persons living in the old people’s homes (RR = 1.7) and the geriatric hospital (RR = 2.2), and also with advancing age (between 75 and 84 years, RR = 2.9;over 84 years, RR = 4.9). The prevalence of constipation was directly correlated to fecal and urinary incontinence. (Aging 3: 161–170, 1991)

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Klein H.: Constipation and faecal impaction. Surg. Clin. North Am. 63: 193–217, 1983.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Milne J.S., Williamson J.: Bowel habits in older people. Gerontol. Clin. 14: 56–60, 1972.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Donald I.P., Smith R.G., Cruikshank J.G., Elton R.A., Stoddart M.E.: A study of constipation in the elderly living at home. Gerontology 31: 112–118, 1985.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Davies G.J., Crowder M., Reid B., Dickerson J.W.T.: Bowel function measurements of individuals with different eating patterns. Gut 27: 164–169, 1986.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Read N.W., Timms J.M.: Defecation and the pathophysiology of constipation. Clin. Gastroenterol. 15: 937–965, 1986.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Brandt L.J.: Constipation in the elderly. Pract. Gastroenterol. 11: 31–36, 1987.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Elliot D.L., Watts W.J., Girard D.E.: Constipation. Mechanisms and management of a common clinical problem. Postgrad. Med. J. 74: 143–149, 1983.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Payler D.K., Pomare E.W., Heaton K.W., Harvey R.F.: The effect of wheat bran on intestinal transit. Gut 16: 209–213, 1975.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Alessi C.A., Henderson C.T.: Constipation and fecal impaction in the long-term care patient. Clin. Ger. Med. 4: 571–588, 1988.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Read N.W., Abouzekry L: Why do patients with faecal impaction have faecal incontinence. Gut 27: 283–287, 1986.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. BMDP user’s digest. Hill MA. BMDP Statistical Software, Inc., Los Angeles, 1987.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Hinton J.M., Lennard-Jones J.E.: Constipation: definition and classification. Postgrad. Med. J. 44: 720–723, 1968.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Manning A.P., Wyman J.B., Heaton K.W.: How trustworthy are bowel histories? Comparison of recalled and recorded information. Br. Med. J. 2: 213–214, 1976.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Brocklehurst J.C.: Colonic disease in the elderly. Clin. Gastroenterol. 14: 725–747, 1985.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Merkus J.W.F.M.: Obstipatie bij oude mensen. II. Frequentie en oorzaken van laxantiagebruik en ervaringen met volumevergroters en lactulose bij verpleeghuispatiënten. Tijdsch. Gerontol. Geriatr. 15: 151–154, 1984.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Primrose W.R., Capewell A.E., Simpson G.K., Smith R.G.: Prescribing patterns observed in registered nursing homes and long-stay geriatrics wards. Age Aging 16: 25–28, 1987.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Hammond E.C.: Some preliminary findings on physical complaints from a prospective study of 1,064, 004 men and women. Am. J. Public Health 54: 11–23, 1964.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Sonnenberg A., Koch T.R.: Epidemiology of constipation in the United States. Dis. Colon Rectum 32: 1–8, 1989.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Beers M.H., Dang J., Hasegawa J., Tamai I.Y.: Influence of hospitalization on drug therapy in the elderly. J. Am. Geriatr. Soc. 37: 679–683, 1989.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Nolan L., O’Malley K.: The need for a more rational approach to drug prescribing for elderly people in nursing homes. Age Aging 18: 52–56, 1989.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Everhart J.E., Go V.L., Johannes R.S., Fitzsimmons S.C., Roth H.P., White L.R.: A longitudinal survey of self-reported bowel habits in the United States. Dig. Dis. Sci. 34: 1153–1162, 1989.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Burkitt D.: Fiber as protective against gastrointestinal diseases. Am. J. Gastroenterol 79: 249–251, 1984.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Fingl E.: Laxatives and cathartics. In: Goodman and Gilman (Eds.), The pharmacological basis of therapeutics. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., New York, 1980, pp. 1002–1010.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Whitehead W.E., Drinkwater D., Cheskin L.J., Heller B.R., Schuster M.M.: Constipation in the elderly living at home. Definition, prevalence, and relationship to lifestyle and health status. J. Am. Geriatr.. Soc. 37: 423–429, 1989.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. Rousseau P.: Treatment of constipation in the elderly. Postgrad. Ger. 83: 339–349, 1988.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. Sonnenberg A., Koch T.R.: Physician visits in the United States for constipation: 1958 to 1986. Dig. Dis. Sci. 34: 606–611, 1989.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  27. Brocklehurst J.C.: The gastrointestinal system — the large bowel. In: Brocklehurst J.C (Ed.), Textbook of geriatric medicine and gerontology, ed. 3. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1985, pp. 534–556.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Enlund H., Saarinen M., Nissinen A., Kivelä S-L, Turakka H.: Self-medication among elderly Finnish men of the Congress Proceedings of the 8th Scandinavian Congress of Gerontology, 281-283, 1986.

  29. Tedesco F.J.: The GI drug column. Laxative use in constipation. Am. J. Gastroenterol. 80: 303–309, 1985.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  30. Andersson H., Bosaeus I., Falkheden T., Melkersson M.: Transit time in constipated geriatric patients during treatment with a bulk laxative and bran: A comparison. Scand. J. Gastroenterol. 14: 821–826, 1979.

    PubMed  Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  31. Kinnunen O., Salokannel J.: Constipation in elderly long-stay patients: its treatment by magnesium hydroxide and bulk-laxative. Ann. Clin. Res. 19: 321–323, 1987.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  32. Berman J.I., Schultz M.J.: Bulk laxative ileus. J. Am. Geriatr. Soc. 28: 224–226, 1980.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  33. Brocklehurst J.C, Khan Y.: A study of fecal stasis in old age and use of Dorbanex in its prevention. Gerontology 2: 293–300, 1969.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Connel A.M., Hilton C, Irvine G., Lennard-Jones J.E., Misiewic J.J.: Variation of bowel habit in two population samples. Br. Med. J. 6: 1095–1099, 1965.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Kinnunen O., Jauhonen P., Salokannel J., Kivelä S.-L.: Diarrhea and fecal impaction in elderly long-stay patients. Z. Gerontol. 22: 321–323, 1989.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  36. Tobin W.T., Brocklehurst J.C.: Faecal incontinence in residential homes for the elderly: prevalence, aetiology, and management. Age Aging 15: 41–45, 1986.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kinnunen, O. Study of constipation in a geriatric hospital, day hospital, dold people’s home and at home. Aging Clin Exp Res 3, 161–170 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03323997

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03323997

Keywords

  • Aged
  • cathartics
  • constipation