Constipation in Patients with Serious Illness
What You’ll Learn
- Describe impact of constipation on quality of life for patients with serious illness
- Describe the assessment of constipation and potential etiologies, with particular attention to the use of opioids.
- Discuss evidence-based pharmacologic interventions for constipation.
- List foods that can be used as non-pharmacologic interventions for constipation.
- Discuss the evidence for popular complementary approaches for constipation.
What You’ll Earn
After completing the course, you’ll earn a Verification of Attendance certificate.
Only CAPC members who are logged in can earn the following free Continuing Education Credits:
- Case Management: 1.25 CE
- Medicine: 1.00 CME, 1.00 ABIM MOC (Medical Knowledge Only)
- Nursing: 1.00 CNE, 0.60 Pharmacotherapy
- Social Work: 1.00 CE (NASW)
- Social Work: 1.00 CE (NYSED)
This course is open-to-all at no cost.Start
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Tools & Resources
Medications and dosing guidance for stimulant and osmotic laxatives. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2017.
Key terms related to symptom management. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2017.
Course citations. Center to Advance Palliative Care, 2021.
Adapted from the Opioid Risk Tool questionnaire developed by Lynn R. Webster, MD to assess risk of opioid use disorder. This adapted version uses currently recommended terminology, for example ‘opioid use disorder’ and ‘substance use disorder’.
Mechanisms of constipation and best approaches to treatment.
Non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic approaches to managing opioid-induced constipation.
Treating opioid-induced constipation, including how and when to use newer therapies.
Sean M. Marks, MD. Associate Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin.
Brittany Chambers, MPH, MCHES. Associate Director of Education, Center to Advance Palliative Care.
Brynne Hunter, MSIT. Education Technology Project Manager, Center to Advance Palliative Care.
Drew Rosielle, MD, FAAHPM. Palliative Care, Fairview Health Services, University of Minnesota Medical School.
Lolita Melhado, MSN, ARNP, FNP-BC. Family Nurse Practitioner/Palliative Care, Gulf Coast Medical Center - Lee Memorial Health System.
Philip Higgins, PhD, LICSW. President, Lighthouse Counseling of Salem, Inc.
Karl Bezak, MD. Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Palliative Care and Medical Ethics, University of Pittsburgh (UPMC).*
Nora Brennan, RN. Cardiology, University of Pennsylvania Hospital System.
Dara Duncan, RN. Hospice and Palliative Care Registered Nurse, Wiener Family Palliative Care Unit
Mount Sinai Hospital.
Gabrielle Langmann, MD. Clinical Instructor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Master’s of Science in Medical Education Candidate, University of Pittsburgh.*
Ayla Pelleg, MD. Assistant Professor, Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
*indicates ABIM Peer Reviewer