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How can community nurses manage chronic constipation?

Constipation is a widespread problem although its subjective nature can mean that diagnosis and treatment can be difficult as there is often a mismatch between patients’ and clinicians’ view of the condition. Constipation is widely believed to include unsatisfactory defecation, infrequent stools and/or difficult stool passage. Thorough patient assessment and promotion of continence issues are imperative to improving services for people with constipation. This article highlights how breaking social taboos around bladder and bowel issues, helping people to acknowledge bowel issues, and referring them to the appropriate specialist nurse-led services will all help to provide a more accurate and timely diagnosis of constipation.