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Issues in Palliative Care Research$
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Russell K. Portenoy and Eduardo Bruera

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195130652

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130652.001.0001

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Measurement of Constipation

Measurement of Constipation

Chapter:
(p.53) 4 Measurement of Constipation
Source:
Issues in Palliative Care Research
Author(s):

Russell K. Portenoy

Eduardo Bruera

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195130652.003.0004

In gastroenterology, chronic idiopathic constipation has been the subject of considerable investigation. The results form a large body of fundamental research into the physiological control of intestinal function, a range of techniques by which to investigate and describe the patterns of motility disorder associated with constipation, and a somewhat less extensive literature assessing the clinical effectiveness of existing or innovative treatments. In palliative care, research on constipation has attracted much less enthusiasm than investigations of symptoms such as pain and breathlessness. The etiology of constipation in palliative care has been little examined. Opioid analgesics are often blamed. Research into constipation is rarely easy and never glamorous, but it is important to tackle a persistent symptom that causes very many of the patients considerable distress.

Keywords:   constipation, palliative care, opioid analgesics, gastroenterology

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