Purpose: This evidence-based guideline intends to support clinicians, patients, and others in decisions regarding the treatment of constipation in patients with cancer.
Methodologic approach: An interprofessional panel of healthcare professionals with patient representation prioritized clinical questions and patient outcomes for the management of cancer-related constipation. Systematic reviews of the literature were conducted. The GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach was used to assess the evidence and make recommendations.
Findings: The panel agreed on 13 recommendations for the management of opioid-induced and non-opioid-related constipation in patients with cancer.
Implications for nursing: The panel conditionally recommended a bowel regimen in addition to lifestyle education as first-line treatment for constipation. For patients starting opioids, the panel suggests a bowel regimen as prophylaxis. Pharmaceutical interventions are available and recommended if a bowel regimen has failed. Acupuncture and electroacupuncture for non-opioid-related constipation are recommended in the context of a clinical trial.
Supplementary material can be found at https: //bit.ly/30y29sI.
Keywords: GRADE; acupuncture; cancer; constipation; guideline; opioid-induced constipation.