The purpose of this study was to identify the prevalence of constipation in hospitalized patients, along with sociodemographic and clinical variables associated with its occurrence.
Observational, cross-sectional study.
SUBJECTS AND SETTINGS:
The study sample comprised 343 adult patients hospitalized at a University Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Point-prevalence data were collected on the same day each month over a 4-month period. Data were collected via interviews, physical examination, medical record review, and completion of a data collection form that queried sociodemographic data and incorporated the Bowel Function in the Community instrument. Patients were classified as constipated if they met 2 or more of the Rome III criteria. Logistic regression analyses were used to identify clinical or sociodemographic factors associated with constipation.
Fifty-one patients had constipation, reflecting a point-prevalence of 14.8% (95% CI, 11.49-19.02). The prevalence of constipation was 15% in females (n = 29) and 14.7% in males (n = 22). Multivariable logistic regression showed that use of laxatives (OR = 9.98; 95% CI, 3.539-29.666) was associated with a higher likelihood of constipation.
The prevalence of constipation in hospitalized adult patients was lower than that in previous studies. Patients using laxatives were more likely to experience constipation.