Change in bowel habit and constipation - for primary care practitioners

Sponsored by: Kyowa Kirin

KKI/UKIRE/MOV/0010 July 2019

This module was written by StudyPRN and funded by Kyowa Kirin as a service to medicine. Kyowa Kirin had no input into course content.

This resource, composed of 11 clinical cases, assesses the user’s knowledge and understanding on the assessment and management of change in bowel habit and constipation.

Successful completion of the resource provides 1 hour of CPD delivered by Learna Ltd.

Resource Content

Constipation is a common presenting symptom in primary care with a prevalence increasing from 3% in young adults to up to 20% in the elderly. The prescribing of opioids for musculoskeletal pain and other conditions is common in primary care and as a result opioid-induced constipation (OIC) can occur. It is important for clinicians to remain vigilant and assess the risk for suspected cancer in patients presenting with altered bowel patterns or other red flag symptoms and signs.

Aims and objectives:

  • To identify and manage secondary causes of constipation including drug induced constipation in a primary care setting
  • To appreciate how certain conditions can increase the likelihood of constipation by nature of the condition itself or the drug treatment it requires
  • To arrange appropriate and timely referral to secondary care services
  • To recognise red flag symptoms and signs in patients with constipation that require urgent specialist input