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Bowel Movement: The Sixth Vital Sign

Holl, Rita M. PhD, ND, RN

Holistic Nursing Practice:
doi: 10.1097/HNP.0000000000000024

Bowel movements provide vital information on how the body is functioning, and constipation among older adults is especially problematic. Although we do not like hearing the details of someone else's bowel movement, it is a function that nurses need to assess, support, and treat with the same attitude as when caring for patients with pain.

Author Information

School of Nursing, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Correspondence: Rita M. Holl, PhD, ND, RN, School of Nursing, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, 1400 E Hanna, Ave, IN 46227 (

The author has disclosed that she has no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

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