Nurses' knowledge of constipation in people with learning disabilities.

Lynne Marsh*, John Sweeney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Constipation is considered a preventable problem in health care, yet this condition has received little attention in terms of preventive interventions and management in people with intellectual disabilities. While constipation is acknowledged as an important general health issue for this population group, symptoms are frequently masked as the intellectual disability often takes precedence, resulting in diagnostic overshadowing. Underestimations of the condition may result in delays in recognition and treatment which are further compounded by an inability among people with an intellectual disability to express discomfort verbally. Long-term, untreated constipation can have serious and potentially life-threatening consequences if symptoms go unrecognized or are not treated promptly. Therefore, all registered nurses treating people with intellectual disabilities must possess an in-depth knowledge of the condition to be able to prevent and manage this common condition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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