Effect of Abdominal Muscles Strengthening Exercises on the Severity of Chronic Constipation in Older Adults
Chronic constipation is a significant healthcare problem in older people and impacts negatively on quality of life. The nurse should encourage the older adults to perform abdominal muscles strengthening exercises, it can strengthen the abdominal muscles and increase the frequency of bowel movements in constipated patients. Objective: Determine the effect of abdominal muscles strengthening exercises on the severity of chronic constipation among the older adults. Setting: The outpatient clinics at the Specialized Medical Hospital, Mansoura University. Subjects: 100 older adult patients aged 60 years and above, have chronic constipation for at least one year. Tools: Six tools were used namely; Older Adults Socio-demographic and Clinical Data Structured Interview Schedule, Katz and Akpom Scale, Lawton and Brady Scale, Constipation Assessment Scale, Older Adults’ Knowledge Related to Constipation Structured Interview Schedule, and Constipation Management Observational Checklist. Results: After the intervention the elders who have moderate and severe degree of chronic constipation reported improvement in the severity of chronic constipation and decrease in their numbers. Conclusion: Performance of abdominal muscle strengthening exercises improved the severity of the degree of chronic constipation for the majority of the subjects in the study group. Recommendations: Nurses and caregivers raise awareness of community dwelling older adults who attend the outpatient clinics and reside in assisted living facilities regarding healthy lifestyle and abdominal muscle strengthening exercises.