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Br J Community Nurs. 2003 Dec;8(12):550-3.

Management of functional constipation in childhood.

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  • 1Knowsley PCT, and PromoCon - Disabled Living Centre, Manchester.


Functional constipation is a common condition. In the majority of cases the constipation develops as a result of a complex weave of factors including specific triggers, e.g. reduced fluid intake following a viral infection or periods of restricted access to the toilet. The passage of large painful stools perpetuates the problem when the child begins to associate pain with defecation. The management of constipation can often be a challenge in children, who initially may be reluctant to sit on the toilet. This article will discuss the contributory factors to the cause of constipation and identify the keys to successful treatment, including ensuring a holistic child-focused approach with effective initial evacuation and appropriate maintenance therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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