Constipation in the hospitalized older patient: Part 1

Emmanuel Osei-Boamah, Sai Ho Jason Chui, Cara Diaz, Steven R. Gambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Although constipation is common in geriatric patients, not enough emphasis is placed on properly screening for and treating this condition in all settings. In hospitalized older adults, constipation can be especially difficult to manage because of the increased complexity of this patient population and the disorder's diverse causes in the acute care setting. Yet if constipation is not promptly identified and treated, patients may experience a decreased quality of life, have a longer hospital stay, and develop a variety of health problems, including delirium, chronic pain, and incontinence. In this article, the authors provide an overview of constipation, paying particular attention to its pathophysiology and etiology in older adults. This article serves as part 1 of a two-part article that discusses constipation in the hospitalized older patient. Part 2, which will be published in the next issue of Clinical Geriatrics, focuses on the prevention and management of constipation in the hospitalized older adult.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-19
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Geriatrics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute care
  • Constipation
  • Idiopathic constipation
  • Medication-induced constipation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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