Metas de Enfermería

Metas de Enfermería

SEPTIEMBRE 2006 N° 7 Volumen 9

Treatment of constipation in Primary Health Care

Section: Featured Articles

How to quote

Causssignac Querol M, Comas i Picañol A, López Méndez MI. Intervención en el estreñimiento en Atención Primaria de Salud. Metas de Enferm sep 2006; 9(7): 23-26.


1Marta Cussigcac Querol, 1Araceli Comas i Picañol, 2María Isabel López Méndez


1Diplomada en Enfermería.Área Básica de Salud (ABS) Río de Janeiro. 2Diplomada en Enfermería. Centro de Atención Primaria Singuerlín. Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Barcelona.

Contact address

ABS Río de Janeiro. Avda. Río de Janeiro, 83-91. 08016 Barcelona.

Contact email: acomas.pbcn@ics.scs.es


 Objectives: to determine whether a health education intervention (based on exercise, dieting, the use of laxatives, bowel movements habits, etc.) would decrease the prevalence and intensity of primary chronic constipation.

Material and methods: before and after interventional study on adult individuals in the Río de Janeiro 8B health care district with primary chronic constipation. Twenty individuals were selected through consecutive sampling.
The independent variable was an educational intervention and the dependent variables were the dependence manifestations of constipation as well as other related factors. Other variables such as age and gender were also studied. A direct survey and the medical history were used as data sources for the retrieval of information. Descriptive statistics indexes were computed (mean value, percentages, etc.) using the SPSS software.
Results: 80% of the individuals with constipation were women, mean age was 57 years. All the individuals were able to have a bowel movement each day or every other day without much effort after the intervention. The consistency and bleeding were other dependence manifestations that improved the most, even though the rest (pain, distension, flatulence and intestinal sounds) improved also. The mean amount of fibre consumed per day increased by 10 grams while the water intake increased by 6 glasses. All subjects performed moderate exercise. 56,6% started to adopt proper body positioning in the WC, 80% established a schedule, but 20% continued to delay the defecation time.
Conclusions: the results demonstrate that health education has been proven to be effective to decrease the prevalence of constipation. After the intervention, all the subjects reported improvement in all the dependence manifestations (basically in the rhythm to defecate, the pain to defecate, and the effort to defecate) and improvement in the constipation-related factors (especially in increased intake of fibre and water, the intensity of exercise, the adoption of the right posture and the establishment of certain hours to have the bowel movements).


constipation; health education; fibre; nursing intervention; Primary Carenursing diagnosis

Versión en Español


Intervención en el estreñimiento en Atención Primaria de Salud