perceived Constipation

Taxonomy II: Elimination—Class 2 Gastrointestinal System (00012)
[Diagnostic Division: Elimination]
Submitted 1988
Definition: Self-diagnosis of constipation and abuse of laxatives, enemas, and suppositories to ensure a daily bowel movement

Related Factors
Cultural/family health beliefs
Faulty appraisal, [long-term expectations/habits]
Impaired thought processes
Defining Characteristics
Expectation of a daily bowel movement with the resulting overuse
of laxatives, enemas, and suppositories
Expected passage of stool at same time every day

Desired Outcomes/Evaluation
Criteria—Client Will:
• Verbalize understanding of physiology of bowel function.
• Identify acceptable interventions to promote adequate bowel function.
• Decrease reliance on laxatives/enemas.
• Establish individually appropriate pattern of elimination.

NURSING PRIORITY NO. 1. To identify factors affecting individual beliefs:
• Determine client’s understanding of a “normal” bowel pattern and cultural expectations.
• Compare with client’s current bowel functioning.
• Identify interventions used by client to correct perceived problem.
NURSING PRIORITY NO. 2. To promote wellness (Teaching/ Discharge Considerations):
• Discuss physiology and acceptable variations in elimination.
• Identify detrimental effects of drug/enema use.
• Review relationship of diet/exercise to bowel elimination.
• Provide support by Active-listening and discussing client’s concerns/fears.
• Encourage use of stress-reduction activities/refocusing of attention while client works to establish individually appropriate pattern.

Documentation Focus
• Assessment findings/client’s perceptions of the problem.
• Current bowel pattern, stool characteristics.
• Plan of care/interventions and who is involved in the planning.
• Teaching plan.
• Client’s responses to interventions/teaching and actions performed.
• Changes in bowel pattern, character of stool.
• Attainment/progress toward desired outcome(s).
• Modifications to plan of care.
• Referral for follow-up care.

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