Tailoring the Treatment of Chronic Constipation in Older Adults
Release Date: June-30-11
Credit Expiration Date: June-30-12
Primary and long-term care physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses involved in the care of older adults who may suffer from chronic constipation.
Chronic constipation is not a trivial condition; it can dramatically impact quality of life and lead to serious medical problems. The estimated prevalence of chronic constipation in the U.S. is between 2 and 27%, but this increases to 40% among people over 65 years of age. Older adults are at particular risk due to additional chronic disease burdens, immobility, and/or functional limitations.
Chronic constipation can be diagnosed when a patient is experiencing fewer than 3 bowel movements per week and at least two of the following are present in at least 25% of defecations for a period of 3 months or more: hard or lumpy stools, straining with defecation, a sensation of incomplete evacuation, a sensation of anorectal obstruction, or the use of manual maneuvers to assist defecation.
Recognizing chronic constipation can be a challenge, due in large part to a significant disconnect between patient and clinician perceptions of constipation. Effective management of chronic constipation requires a combination of provider and patient education, lifestyle and/or pharmacologic modifications, and the judicious use of pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapies.
This podcast will review approaches to care, describe management pitfalls, and outline considerations for tailoring treatment for individual patients. With an improved understanding of the condition and its management, primary, geriatric, and long-term care providers can help lessen the burden of chronic constipation and significantly improve the lives of the older adults in their care.
John F. Johanson, MD, MSc, FACP, FACG
Beloit Health System
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine
University of Illinois College of Medicine
Louis Kuritzky, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Dept. of Community Health and Family Medicine
University of Florida
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Dr. Johanson serves as a consultant for Sucampo Pharmaceuticals Incorporated and Theravance, Incorporated and on the speakers’ bureau for Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Incorporated.
Dr. Kuritzky serves as a consultant and on the speakers’ bureau for Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Incorporated.
Peer Review: Elizabeth Paczolt, MD. Dr. Paczolt has no financial relationships to disclose
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of AKH Inc. and Medical Communications Media. AKH Inc. is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. AKH Inc. designates this enduring podcast for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) ™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
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AKH Inc. is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP12070, for 0.5 contact hour.
Supported by an educational grant from Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.
This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of pharmaceutical agents. Some uses of these agents may not have been approved by the FDA. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.
The opinions expressed in this educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or recommendations of their affiliated institutions, the publisher, AKH Inc., Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. or Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. Any medications, diagnostic procedures, or treatments discussed by the faculty should not be used by clinicians or other health care professionals without first evaluating their patients’ conditions, considering possible contraindications or risks, reviewing any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparing any therapeutic approach with the recommendations of other authorities.