Purpose: The Palliative Care Study Group of the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer formed a subgroup to develop evidence-based recommendations on the management of constipation in patients with advanced cancer.
Methods: These recommendations were developed in accordance with the MASCC Guidelines Policy. A search strategy for Medline was developed, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were explored for relevant reviews/trials respectively. The recommendations were categorised by the level of evidence and a "category of guideline" based on the level of evidence (i.e. "recommendation", "suggestion", or "no guideline possible").
Results: The group produced 15 recommendations, with varying levels of evidence and so varying categories of guideline. The recommendations relate to the assessment, the treatment, and the re-assessment of constipation.
Conclusions: These recommendations provide a framework for the management of constipation in advanced cancer, although every patient needs individualised management.
Keywords: Constipation; Neoplasms; Palliative care; Practice guideline.