University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository




Allison Robertson, NP


Constipation is one of the most common causes of abdominal pain in the pediatric population, peaking between two and four years of age. Approximately one of every twenty visits children make to a medical provider is for constipation. Ninety-five percent of childhood constipation cases in healthy children is a functional problem and can be diagnosed solely with a medical history and physical exam. As clinicians, it is important to be able to identify this disorder and differentiate it from other organic causes such as Hirschsprung disease, anorectal malformation, and cystic fibrosis. Childhood constipation affects the quality of life of affected children and their parents. If it lasts only a short period of time, there are usually no complications, however, delayed or inadequate intervention may yield long-lasting constipation, painful bowel movements, bladder control problems, and fecal impaction. It is necessary to effectively select and counsel the patient and parents on the treatment best suited for each unique case to help prevent complications of long-lasting constipation.


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