Factors associated with impaired quality of life in French patients with chronic idiopathic constipation: a cross-sectional study

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016 May;28(5):525-31. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0000000000000595.


Objective: Chronic idiopathic constipation can impact the health-related quality of life (QoL). We aimed to evaluate QoL in French patients with different clinical types of chronic constipation.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 338 general practitioners included 1710 consecutive adult patients who fulfilled the Rome III criteria for constipation and agreed to complete Patient-Assessment of Constipation Quality of Life and Symptom questionnaires. Sociodemographic and medical data were collected. Multivariate analyses enabled identification of factors associated with poor QoL using odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs).

Results: Overall, 1673 patients were eligible for analyses; 32% had infrequent evacuation (IE) of feces, 24% had difficult evacuation (DE) of feces, and 44% had both (IE+DE). The mean global Patient-Assessment of Constipation Quality of Life score was 1.9 (95% CI: 1.9-2.0), with a significantly worse QoL for IE+DE patients (mean 2.0; 95% CI: 2.0-2.1); 23% of patients reported a poor QoL, that is, a more than 2.4 (29% in IE+DE group, P<0.0001). Poor QoL was significantly associated with psychosocial parameters, associated digestive symptoms, but the main factors were the use of rectal treatment (OR 2.5; 95% CI: 1.9-3.3), one or less defecation/week (OR 3.5; 95% CI: 2.2-5.7), and weak/null perceived treatment efficiency (OR 4.3; 95% CI: 2.8-6.5).

Conclusion: Chronic constipation is associated with a significant decrease in QoL, especially in patients suffering from both infrequent and DE of feces and feeling unsatisfied by their treatments.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Chronic Disease
  • Constipation / diagnosis
  • Constipation / physiopathology
  • Constipation / psychology*
  • Constipation / therapy
  • Cost of Illness
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Defecation
  • Female
  • France
  • Gastrointestinal Motility
  • General Practice
  • Humans
  • Intestines / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires