Levels of satisfaction with current chronic constipation treatment options in Europe - an internet survey

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Jan;37(1):137-45. doi: 10.1111/apt.12124. Epub 2012 Nov 5.


Background: Data on treatment satisfaction in European men and women with chronic constipation are limited.

Aim: To assess satisfaction with current treatment among European men and women with chronic constipation.

Methods: An internet-based survey was conducted in 2009 in 10 European countries: Austria, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands. Participants had self-reported chronic constipation (<3 bowel movements/week and ≥1 symptoms for ≥6 months of: pain during defecation; lumpy/hard faeces; and feeling of incomplete evacuation). Demographic data and disease history were collected. For participants using laxatives, drug name/class, satisfaction with treatment and interest in other treatments were collected.

Results: Of the 1941 participants screened, 1355 had chronic constipation and met the inclusion criteria (chronic constipation population). The majority of the chronic constipation population who disclosed their sex (n = 811) were women (82%). Sixty-eight per cent of respondents (n = 855/1255) reported using laxatives, with the proportion of laxative users differing between subsets. Twenty-eight per cent (n = 225/793) were (very) satisfied with their treatment, whereas 44% (n = 345/793) were neutral and 28% (n = 223/793) (very) dissatisfied. There was no relationship between type of laxative and degree of (dis)satisfaction. Interest in other treatments was high with 83% (n = 686/827) of respondents 'absolutely' or 'probably' interested. Respondents dissatisfied with their treatment were more likely to be interested in other treatments.

Conclusions: Laxative-use is common for chronic constipation. In this large survey, 28% of participants were dissatisfied with their treatment, with the majority interested in other treatments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease
  • Constipation / drug therapy*
  • Constipation / psychology
  • Defecation / drug effects*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Laxatives / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Laxatives