Why is it so difficult to define constipation

Giuseppe Dodi, Erica Stocco, Peter Petros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract: There are major problems in defining constipation. The variety of definitions amongst studies, is a large issue. The literature shows
that physicians and patients define constipation differently. “Unsatisfactory defecation with stool retention” is a definition that appears to be
well understood by patients and meets the opinion of the physicians. In discussing defecation with patients, “satisfaction” is a single subjective item that includes the patient’s perception both in slow transit and outlet obstruction. It recalls the quality of life and it seems preferable
to any choice of items that can be found in the various scoring systems. The quantification of the symptoms by scoring all the items is essential for defining the severity of the condition. The Integral Theory System gives further light to the pathophysiology of defecation.
Key words: Constipation; Defecation; Communication; Integral Theory
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101
Number of pages1
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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