Constipation is a common health problem that adversely affects quality of life and the prognosis of hospitalized patients with acute coronary syndromes (ACS). The purpose of this study was to develop and test the sweet potato/footbath/acupressure massage (SFA) intervention as a safe treatment for prevention of constipation and to increase satisfaction with bowel emptying in hospitalized patients with ACS. The study was a prospective, randomized controlled trial with a sample of 93 patients (SFA group, n = 44; usual care group, n = 49). Patients in the SFA group received SFA intervention combined with usual care. The results showed that there were statistical differences between the two groups in terms of (1) the incidence of constipation; (2) the use of laxatives and enemas; (3) patients' subjective satisfaction with their bowel emptying during hospitalization; and (4) sensation of incomplete evacuation and anorectal obstruction/blockade. The SFA intervention was more effective, economical, and practical than usual care alone in managing constipation and satisfaction with defecation in patients hospitalized with ACS.
Kai Ren, MMS, is with Nursing College of Soochow University, Suzhou, China.
Jingbo Qiu, BN, is with Nursing College of Soochow University, Suzhou, China.
Xiaohua Wang, MN, is with Cardiovascular Department of First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China.
Fenglin Niu, MMS, is with Nursing College of Soochow University, Suzhou, China.
Tingbo Jiang, MD, is with Cardiovascular Department of First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China.
Correspondence to: Xiaohua Wang, MN, Mailbox 203 of Main Campus, Soochow University, No. 1 Shizi St., Suzhou, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Both Kai Ren and Jingbo Qiu are considered first authors of this work.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Received March 21, 2011
Accepted September 05, 2011