The aim of this study was to review current constipation assessment scales and clarify (a) the nature of extant measurements and (b) the criteria contained in the measures. A review of relevant literature from inception to 2011 was extracted from PubMed, CINHAL, Cochrane, and MEDLINE databases by searching for the following key words: constipation, scale, measurement, questionnaire, and assessment. Eight scales were reviewed. The scales under review measured constipation from a subjective viewpoint. All measurement criteria included in 8 of the scales were arranged into 51 items and divided into 5 categories. Categories used to measure the severity of constipation were defecation difficulties, abdominal symptoms, emotional effects of constipation, self-treatment strategies, and individual characteristics. Original and suitable scales for the measurement of the severity of constipation based on the review were the Patient-Assessment of Constipation Symptoms scale and the Constipation Assessment Scale. The Patient-Assessment of Constipation Symptoms scale and the Constipation Assessment Scale are reliable, valid, original, and suitable scales to measure the severity of constipation for subjects.
Kira Izumi, MN, RN, PHN, is Assistant Professor, Oita University, Faculty of Medicine, School of Nursing, Fundamental Nursing Science, Hasama-machi, Yufu-shi, Oita, Japan.
Correspondence to: Kira Izumi, MN, RN, PHN, Oita University, Faculty of Medicine, School of Nursing, 700 Dannoharu, Oita-shi 870-1192, Japan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The YAMAJI FUMIKO Nursing Research Fund supported this study.
The author thanks Professor Michiko Hishinuma for her guidance.
The author declares no conflict of interest.
Received January 30, 2012
Accepted September 15, 2012