Nonpharmocological treatment in the constipated cancer patient Essay examples

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The use of nonpharmacologic interventions and its effectiveness in the prevention and management of constipation in the cancer patient after a pancreaticoduodenectomy
Ashley Bakoz
ECPI University

The use of nonpharmacologic interventions and its effectiveness in the prevention and management of constipation in the cancer patient after a pancreaticoduodenectomy

Are nonpharmacologic interventions effective in the prevention and management of

constipation in the cancer patient? I have always been told to walk the patient as soon as they are

able after abdominal surgery. Reasoning being that the act of walking will help with getting the

digestive tract to function again, as normal. While working on the gastrointestinal floor at

MUSC I provided care for a patient diagnosed with pancreatic carcinoma. My patient underwent

a pancreaticoduodenectomy surgical procedure. As a nursing student I wanted to know how I

could help using nonpharmocological interventions in preventing and managing constipation in

the cancer patient. Constipation is a major source of distress for patients with cancer,

significantly affecting quality of life (Woolery, Bisanz, Lyons, Gaido & Yenulevich, 2008). As

the cancer patient is already immunocompromised, having putrefying food lie in the intestines

for a long time they are at greater risk of developing infections as this toxic waste can be

reabsorbed. One safety issue in this type of patient is preventing and managing constipation to

reduce pain and secondary infections. Increased activity and exercise have been considered

beneficial in the prevention and managing constipation by increasing blood flow to the digestive

organs, leading to improved motility (Richmond & Wright, 2004). However, research findings

are conflicting and few RCT’s have supported the hypothesis (Frizelle & Barclay, 2005). A small, descriptive, prospective study (N=50) examining factors influencing constipation in

patients with advanced oncology found no relationship between bowel scores and physical

functioning (Bennett & Cresswell, 2003). Concurrently from reading the research on

nonpharmocological interventions the research is conflicting. Some say increased activity and

exercise are beneficial but from the small prospective study it does not support that physical

exercise and increased activity are effective in preventing and managing constipation in the

cancer patient.

Concluding the end of my research, research shows that pharmacological interventions

are more effective than nonpharmocological interventions being that physical exercise and

increased activity are not very effective in helping with digestive motility. So now I know from

the…