00012 Perceived constipation

Domain 3: elimination and exchange
Class 2: gastrointestinal function
Diagnostic Code: 00012
Nanda label: subjective constipation
Diagnostic focus: constipation
Approved 1988 • Revised 2020 • Evidence level 2.1

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition

Nanda nursing diagnosis « subjective constipation » is defined as: self -diagnosis of infrequent stool evacuation or with difficulty combined with the abuse of methods to ensure a daily intestinal movement.

Definite characteristics

  • Inadequate use of enemas
  • Expectation of a daily intestinal elimination at the same time
  • Inappropriate use of laxatives
  • Inappropriate use of suppositories

Related factors

  • Cultural beliefs about health
  • Poor knowledge about normal evacuation patterns
  • deterioration of thought processes
  • Family beliefs about health

Suggestions of use

  • See the suggestions for the use of constipation diagnosis.

Suggested alternative diagnostics

  • Constipation
  • Constipation, risk of

NOC Results

  • Knowledge: Health behaviors: Extension of knowledge about the promotion and protection of health
  • Beliefs on health: personal ideas that affect health -related behaviors
  • Intestinal elimination: Formation and evacuation of feces

Evaluation objectives and criteria

  • Improvement of subjective constipation, as demonstrated by intestinal elimination, beliefs about health and knowledge: health behaviors
  • Demonstrates intestinal elimination, revealed by the following indicators (specify from 1 to 5: severely, substantially, moderately, slightly or not affected):
    • Elimination pattern
    • Ease in evacuation
    • defecation without aid

Other examples

The patient will be able to:

  • Verbally express that it understands the need to reduce the use of laxatives, enemas and suppositories
  • Describe the dietary regime that will regulate the intestinal function more naturally
  • Verbally express that you understand that it is not always necessary to defecate every day

NIC Interventions

  • Health Education: Prepare and provide information and teachings to facilitate the voluntary adoption of health behaviors in individuals, families, groups or communities
  • Teaching: Individual: Planning, implementation and evaluation of a teaching program designed to address the specific needs of a patient
  • Active listening: carefully attend and give meaning to the verbal and nonverbal messages of a patient
  • Intestinal elimination management: establishment and maintenance of a regular habit of fecal evacuation

Nursing Activities

In general, nursing activities for this diagnosis focus on communication and teachings to change the patient’s perception about normal elimination and constipation, as well as to adopt measures to favor normal elimination </ p >


  • Evaluate patient expectations regarding normal intestinal function
  • Assess possible contributing factors (for example, cultural beliefs)
  • Observe, register and communicate requests of laxatives, enemas and suppositories
  • (NIC) Management of intestinal elimination:
    • Register the evacuations, including frequency, consistency, shape, volume and color, if necessary
    • Write down previous intestinal problems, intestinal habit and use of laxatives

Patient and family education

  • Instruct the patient and the family about the diet, fluid intake, activity, exercise and the consequences of the abuse of laxatives, enemas and suppositories
  • Teach the patient and the family that can be normal to defecate every two or three days, instead of every day
  • Teach the characteristics of normal elimination and compare them with the symptoms of constipation

Collaboration activities

  • Organize a multidisciplinary meeting on care, with the participation of the patient and the family, to promote positive behaviors (such as diet changes)


  • Help the patient identify what a real use of laxatives, enemas and suppositories is
  • Provide positive feedback to the patient when changing their behavior
  • (IAS) Active listening: concentrate completely on interaction, avoiding prejudices, biases, assumptions, personal concerns and other distractors

At home

  • Previous activities also apply for home care

Older people

  • The above activities are suitable for older people, taking into account normal aging changes