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Constipation and laxative use among people living in nursing homes in 2007 and 2013
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5191-4599
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Nursing. Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Division of Nursing, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2019 (English)In: BMC Geriatrics, ISSN 1471-2318, E-ISSN 1471-2318, Vol. 19, article id 38Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Constipation is a common condition among older people, particularly among people living in nursing homes, and the use of drugs such as opioids is one of many factors that contribute to its high prevalence. The aim of this study was to compare the prevalence of constipation and the use of laxatives between 2007 and 2013, to analyze constipation and laxative use among people who are prescribed opioids, and to identify factors associated with constipation. Methods: In 2007 and 2013, two surveys were performed in the county of Vasterbotten in Northern Sweden, comprising all those living in nursing homes. The Multi-Dimensional Dementia Assessment Scale was used to collect data regarding laxative, opioid and anticholinergic drug use, functioning in activities of daily living (ADL), cognition and symptoms of constipation. A comparison was made between 2820 people from 2007 and 1902 people from 2013. Results: The prevalence of symptoms of constipation among people living in nursing homes increased from 36% in 2007 to 40% in 2013. After controlling for age, sex, ADL, cognitive impairment and use of opioid and anticholinergic drugs, this difference was found to be statistically significant. When controlled for demographic changes, there was a statistically significant difference in the regular use of laxatives between the respective years, from 46% in 2007 to 59% in 2013. People prescribed opioids and anticholinergic drugs were at increased risk of constipation, while people with a higher ADL score were at decreased risk. Further, among people prescribed opioids and rated as constipated, 35% in 2007 and 20% in 2013 were not prescribed laxatives for regular use, a difference that was found to be statistically significant. Conclusions: The prevalence of symptoms of constipation increased between 2007 and 2013. Although there was a decrease between the years, there were still a number of people being prescribed with opioids and rated as constipated who were not treated with laxatives. This study therefore indicates that constipation remains a significant problem among people in nursing homes and also indicates that those prescribed opioids could benefit from an increased awareness of the risk of constipation and treatment, if required.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BMC , 2019. Vol. 19, article id 38
Keywords [en]
Constipation, Laxatives, Dementia, Nursing homes
National Category
Gerontology, specialising in Medical and Health Sciences Geriatrics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-162507DOI: 10.1186/s12877-019-1054-xISI: 000458136800002PubMedID: 30736737OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-162507DiVA, id: diva2:1344703
Available from: 2019-08-21 Created: 2019-08-21 Last updated: 2019-08-21Bibliographically approved

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Gustafsson, MariaLämås, KristinaIsaksson, UlfSandman, Per-OlofLövheim, Hugo
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