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Revista Colombiana de Gastroenterologia

Print version ISSN 0120-9957


DIAZ MOGOLLON, Adrián; OTERO REGINO, William  and  OTERO PARRA, Lina. Outpatient gastroenterology survey of the beliefs and perceptions of patients with chronic constipation regarding etiology, complications and efficacy of general measures. Rev Col Gastroenterol [online]. 2018, vol.33, n.4, pp.361-365. ISSN 0120-9957.


Chronic constipation affects 14% of the world’s population. It leads to high costs for health systems due to diverse treatments. Frequently, patients and doctors have erroneous perceptions about constipation’s etiology, complications and treatment.

Materials and methods:

Patients with chronic constipation were surveyed at the outpatient clinic of a gastroenterology service of a university institution. The most frequent erroneous beliefs regarding the condition found among patients diagnosed with constipation were investigated.


A total of 278 patients who met the inclusion criteria were surveyed. Ninety-eight percent consider that chronic constipation is the cause of hemorrhoids, eighty-six percent believe that it leads to poisoning, and seventy-eight percent believe that it causes colon cancer. Other misconceptions were that low fiber consumption causes constipation (79%) and that low levels of physical activity cause constipation (52%). Fifty-five percent do not consider that high fiber diets (55%) or regular exercise (69%) are useful for treatment. The most frequent observation was abundant consumption of fiber without improvement.

Keywords : Survey; constipation; perceptions; fiber; cancer; hemorrhoids; exercise.

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