Health-related Quality of Life in young adults with continuing symptoms of childhood constipation

M.E.J. Bongers, M.A. Benninga, H. Maurice-Stam, M.A. Grootenhuis

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65 Citations (Scopus)


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Children with functional constipation report impaired Health-related Quality of Life (HRQoL) in relation to physical complaints and long duration of symptoms. In about one third of children with constipation symptoms continue into adulthood. To date, knowledge on HRQoL in adults with persisting childhood constipation is lacking. Objectives: To assess HRQoL in adults with constipation since early childhood in comparison to that of peers, and to gain insight in specific social consequences related to continuing symptoms of constipation and/or fecal incontinence at adult age. METHODS: One HRQoL questionnaire and one self-developed questionnaire focusing on specific consequences of symptoms of constipation continuing into adulthood were administrated to 182 adults with a history of childhood constipation. Successful clinical outcome was defined as a defecation frequency three or more times per week with less than two episodes of fecal incontinence per month, irrespectively of laxative use. HRQoL of both adults with unsuccessful and successful clinical outcome were compared to that of 361 peers from the general Dutch population. RESULTS: No differences in HRQoL were found between the whole study population and healthy peers, nor between adults with successful clinical outcome (n=139) and the control group. Adults with unsuccessful clinical outcome (n=43) reported significantly lower HRQoL compared to the control group with respect to scores on Bodily pain (mean+/-SD 77.4+/-19.6 versus 85.7+/-19.5, p=0.01) and General Health (67.6+/-18.8 versus 74.0+/-18.1, p=0.04). Adults with unsuccessful clinical outcome reported that current symptoms resulted in difficulties with social contact and intimacy in 20% and 12.5%, respectively. Current therapy in these adults consisted more often of self-administered treatment (e.g. diet modifications) (60.4%) than laxatives (20.9%). CONCLUSIONS: Overall, young adults with constipation in childhood report a good quality of life, as HRQoL of adults with successful clinical outcome was comparable to that of their peers. However, continuing of childhood constipation into adulthood influences HRQoL negatively. Social consequences as a result of these complaints are reported in 20% of these adults
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)20
JournalHealth and Quality of Life Outcomes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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