Article Text


Patient satisfaction with current management strategies in chronic constipation
  1. U Khan *1,
  2. D Dubois2,
  3. F Schenck3,
  4. Y Yiannakou1
  1. 1University Hospital of North Durham, Durham, UK
  2. 2Patient Value Solutions, Huldenberg, Belgium
  3. 3Across Health, Ghent, Belgium


Introduction Chronic constipation in the UK is prevalent in less than 10% of the population but can affect up to 25% of adults above 70 years of age.1 Women are affected more by constipation with a female to male ratio of 2.2.2 There are limited published UK data regarding patient satisfaction with traditional therapies for constipation. We have looked at patient satisfaction in two patient populations with chronic constipation: (1) an online survey among a random sample and (2) patients attending a tertiary referral centre in the northeast of England.

Methods (1) An internet survey was conducted in 2009 in 7 European countries. Subjects were recruited by targeted advertising on Google and patient health websites. Data reported are for the UK sub-group. (2) The case notes of 195 consecutive follow-up patients attending the Durham Constipation Clinic were surveyed. Participants satisfying ROME III criteria for functional constipation were included.

Results (1) The UK subgroup included 122 patients; 85% women; average age of 43 years. 65% had a duration of symptoms >3 years. 83% were taking medication for constipation which included both OTC and prescription treatments. Only 25% of subjects were satisfied with their current treatment(s), while 46% were neutral and 29% extremely dissatisfied or dissatisfied. 43% used alternative relief therapies, such as acupuncture and homeopathy. (2) There were 195 patients in the tertiary group (13 M, 182 F) with an average age of 43 years (17–86 years). The average duration of symptoms was 16 years. 78% of patients received specialist treatments not available in primary care. 27% (53/195) patients were extremely or quite satisfied with their treatment, 47% (91/195) were little or moderately satisfied and 26% (51/195) were not satisfied at all with treatment.

Conclusion Traditional treatment options for chronic constipation are not adequately addressing patient needs and expectations in the UK. In both the online survey, and the survey of patients attending a tertiary clinic, only around a quarter of patients were satisfied with treatment. Improved therapeutic options need to be developed for this condition.

  • Chronic constipation
  • Patient satisfaction.

Statistics from


  • Competing interests U. Khan: None Declared, D. Dubois Consultant for: SHIRE-MOVETIS, F. Schenck Consultant for: SHIRE-MOVETIS, Y. Yiannakou Grant/Research Support from: SHIRE-MOVETIS; Medtronic, Consultant for: SHIRE-MOVETIS.

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