Prevalence of constipation in patients undergoing chemotherapy and the effect of constipation on quality of life

Pehlivan Z., Nural N.

SUPPORTIVE CARE IN CANCER, vol.30, no.10, pp.8019-8028, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00520-022-07244-7
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED)
  • Page Numbers: pp.8019-8028
  • Keywords: Patient, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Constipation, Quality of life, CANCER-PATIENTS, IMPACT, ADULTS
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Objective This study was conducted as a descriptive and cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence of constipation and the impact of constipation on quality of life in patients receiving outpatient chemotherapy. Materials and methods The data of the study were collected from 252 patients who applied to the outpatient chemotherapy unit of a university hospital between January 2021 and March 2021. The data were collected using the "Patient Information Form," "Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Status Scale," "Constipation Severity Scale (CSS)," "Patient Assessment of Constipation Quality of Life Questionnaire (PAC-QOL)," and "The Bristol Stool Form Scale" through face-to-face interview technique. In the analysis of data, numbers, percentile distributions, minimum and maximum values, mean values, and standard deviations, as well as t-test, were used in the comparison of paired groups in normally distributed measurements, while the analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used in the comparison of more than two groups. Results The constipation prevalence of the patients included in the study was 31.7% and the mean constipation severity score was 30.48 +/- 13.87. It was found that the quality of life of the patients due to constipation was (71.79 +/- 18.74) impacted adversely on a moderate level. A significant difference was found between sex, educational status, use of antiemetic and antiulcer medication, presence of hemorrhoid disease, ECOG score, appetite, and mean CSS and PAC-QOL scores (p < 0.05). Conclusion Constipation occurs in one-third of cancer patients receiving ambulatory chemotherapy. The severity of constipation in patients is at a moderate level and it impacts the quality of life moderately.