Comparison of strategies and goals for treatment of chronic constipation among gastroenterologists and general practitioners

Authors Dan Carter, Eytan Bardan, Ram Dickman.


Background Although guidelines have been published for the treatment of chronic constipation, little is known about the actual treatment strategies, the definitions of drug efficacy, the parameters for drug selection, and the conceived limitations of the available treatments. The purpose of this study was to address these issues by comparing treatment strategies among gastroenterology specialists (GIs) and general practitioners (GPs).

Methods An internet survey was sent nationwide and at random to GIs and GPs in order to define treatment strategies, drug efficacy, main parameters for drug selections and the main limitations of the available drug therapy.

Results Forty GIs and 132 GPs answered the survey. The maximal sample error was ±13.4% and ±8.8%. Treatment strategies varied considerably between GPs and GIs. The major parameters for drug selection were related to drug safety among GIs and to clinical outcome among GPs. The conceived limitations of drug therapy included lack of experience and unwanted side effects.

Conclusions Awareness of the possible treatment options and the recommended order of prescription differs between GIs and GPs. There are still unmet needs for optimizing the treatment for chronic constipation.

Keywords Constipation, treatment, laxatives, survey

Ann Gastroenterol 2018; 31 (1): 71-76

Original Articles