Guideline for the Prevention and Management of Constipation in Long-Term Care Residents

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An evidence-based clinical practice guideline was developed to prevent and manage constipation in long-term care (LTC) residents, a vulnerable population not specifically addressed in previous guidelines. A literature review was completed, and evidence was evaluated and included in initial draft recommendations. The guideline was reviewed for content validity using a Delphi committee of clinical experts in gastroenterology, geriatrics, and pharmacy. The updated guideline was presented to an interdisciplinary team that reviewed its clinical applicability. Overall, interdisciplinary team members agreed or strongly agreed the guideline was clinically applicable (n=30). Finally, the guideline was evaluated by a group of doctorally-prepared practicing nurse practitioners using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II instrument. Appraiser scores were 85% or higher in every domain, indicating the guideline was perceived as high in quality. Development of this guideline signifies an initial step in the management and prevention of constipation in LTC residents.