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1 CE Test Hours

Are Milk and Molasses Enemas Safe for Hospitalized Adults? A Retrospective Electronic Health Record Review

Contrada, Emily

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: September 2019 - Volume 119 - Issue 9 - p 29
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000580152.50817.3e
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To present the details of a retrospective study conducted to evaluate the safety of milk and molasses enemas for hospitalized adults with unresolved constipation.

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After completing this continuing education activity, you should be able to

  • outline the background information helpful in understanding the authors’ study.
  • summarize the results and limitations of the authors’ study and any implications for practice.
  1. According to the Mayo Clinic, which of the following defines constipation?
    1. anything less than a daily bowel movement
    2. 5 or fewer bowel movements per week
    3. fewer than 3 bowel movements per week
  2. Tack and Müller-Lissner reported that, in Western countries, up to what percentage of people have chronic constipation?
    1. 27%
    2. 35%
    3. 43%
  3. The authors commented that constipation is probably widely underreported because many people
    1. are unaware that they have too few bowel movements.
    2. routinely use laxatives and fiber supplements.
    3. don't seek treatment for this condition.
  4. Standard medical treatments for constipation include
    1. flaxseed oil.
    2. stool softeners.
    3. electrolyte solutions.
  5. According to a recent literature review, about what percentage of patients expressed satisfaction with the results of standard medical treatments for constipation?
    1. 50%
    2. 65%
    3. 80%
  6. Vilke and colleagues reported that the sugars in milk and molasses enemas
    1. help break down formed stool.
    2. lubricate the intestinal lining.
    3. produce gas and distention.
  7. Walker and colleagues concluded that the use of milk and molasses enemas in acutely ill children
    1. could result in hemodynamic compromise.
    2. causes unnecessary discomfort.
    3. is highly effective.
  8. Wallaker and colleagues reported that milk and molasses enemas administered to patients in a suburban pediatric ED
    1. produced significant adverse effects.
    2. relieved constipation safely.
    3. were harmless but ineffective.
  9. At the authors’ study site, the current formulation for milk and molasses enemas combines
    1. 120 mL molasses and 240 mL whole milk.
    2. 240 mL molasses and 120 mL whole milk.
    3. 240 mL molasses and 240 mL whole milk.
  10. The most common admitting diagnosis for the 196 patients in the authors’ retrospective study was
    1. abdominal pain.
    2. intestinal obstruction.
    3. nausea with vomiting.
  11. The most common discharge disposition for the patients in this study was to
    1. home or self-care.
    2. a skilled care facility.
    3. home with home health care.
  12. The most common comorbidity among these patients was
    1. renal failure.
    2. valvular disease.
    3. metastatic cancer.
  13. The least common comorbidity among these patients was
    1. paralysis.
    2. coagulopathy.
    3. alcohol abuse.
  14. How many of the 196 patient records documented milk and molasses enema–associated allergic reactions?
    1. 0
    2. 1
    3. 2
  15. For the 191 patients whose sodium levels were measured during the full length of stay, the mean sodium level was
    1. slightly below the normal range.
    2. within the normal range.
    3. slightly above the normal range.
  16. For the 193 patients whose potassium levels were measured during the full length of stay, the mean potassium level was
    1. slightly below the normal range.
    2. within the normal range.
    3. slightly above the normal range.
  17. In a study exploring the administration of milk and molasses enemas to adult patients in an ED, Vilke and colleagues reported an overall constipation resolution rate of
    1. 65%.
    2. 75%.
    3. 85%.
  18. In the authors’ study, which of the following was noted as a limitation?
    1. differences in enema formulations
    2. unreliable data analysis methods
    3. range of severity of diagnoses
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