Back ground: Constipation is a prevalent problem in pediatric patients and one of the ten most common pathological conditions visited by general pediatricians (1). It accounts for up to 25 percent of referrals to a pediatric gastroenterologist. Therefore, this study was done to evaluate the effects of a nurse-based education program on reducing the symptoms of chronic functional constipation in children (2).
Methods: This clinical trial study was conducted on 95 children (48 control and 47 intervention group), aged 3 to 14 years old, and selected randomly out of the patients referred to Imam Reza Clinic affiliated to Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in 2014. The control group only received the usual treatment prescribed by the physician; however, the intervention group received a comprehensive nursing program. Then, having completed Rome III Criteria Form immediately after the intervention for one month, two months, and three months, we collected the required data. The significance level in this study was 0.05.
Results: The mean age of the samples was 78.30±32.52 months in the intervention group and 74.60±32.26 months in the control group. Also, the average weight of children in the intervention group was 23302.17±12034.96 grams and in the control group 21376.09±9351.80 grams. 18% of the samples from the intervention group and 22% of the control group were males. With a follow-up of 3 months, the percentage of changes in the intervention group in items 1 (two or fewer defecation in the toilet per week) and 4 (history of painful or hard bowel movement) was 48.9% and 74.5%, respectively, and in the control group 22.9% and 52.1%, respectively. Therefore, positive changes in the intervention group were better than the control group. The difference between these two variables was statistically significant (p-value <0.05). In other dimensions of the Rome III criteria, there was no significant difference between the intervention and control groups (p value> 0.05), despite changes in the percentage of items in different periods of 1, 2, and 3 months.
Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate that nursing education programs have a desirable effect on the reduction of some symptoms of chronic functional constipation based on Rome III criteria in children aged 3-14 years.