Chronic childhood constipation: A review of the literature and the introduction of a protocolized behavioral intervention program

Marieke van Dijk, Marc A. Benninga, Martha A. Grootenhuis, Anne Martine Onland van Nieuwenhuizen, Bob F. Last

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftArtikelpeer review

52 Citaten (Scopus)


Objective: To release a newly protocolized behavioral intervention program for children with chronic constipation aged 4-18 years with guidance from literature about underlying theories from which the treatment techniques follow. Methods: Articles until July 2006 were identified through electronic searches in Medline, PsychInfo and Picarta. There was no limit placed on the time periods searched. Following keywords were used: constipation, encopresis, fecal incontinence, psychotherapy, emotions, randomized controlled trials, parent-child relations, parents, family, psychology, behavioral, behavioral problems, psychopathology, toilet, social, psychosocial, pain, retentive posturing, stool withholding, stool toileting refusal, shame, stress, anxiety. A filter was used to select literature referring to children 0-18 years old. Key constructs and content of sessions for a protocolized behavioral intervention program are derived from literature. Results: Seventy-one articles on chronic childhood constipation are critically reviewed and categorized into sections on epidemiology, symptomatology, etiology and consequences, treatment and effectivity, and follow-up on chronic childhood constipation. This is followed by an extensive description of our protocolized behavioral intervention program. Conclusion: This is the first article on childhood constipation presenting a full and transparent description of a behavioral intervention program embedded in literature. In addition, a theoretical framework is provided that can serve as a trial paradigm to evaluate intervention effectiveness. Practice implications: This article can serve as an extensive guideline in routine practice to treat chronically constipated children. By releasing our protocolized behavioral intervention program and by offering a theoretical framework we expect to provide a good opportunity to evaluate clinical effectivity by both randomized controlled trials and qualitative research methods. Findings will contribute to the implementation of an effective treatment for chronic constipation in childhood.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)63-77
Aantal pagina's15
TijdschriftPatient Education and Counseling
Nummer van het tijdschrift1-2
StatusGepubliceerd - jul. 2007
Extern gepubliceerdJa


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