Constipation Nursing Care Plan

Learn the benefits of constipation nursing care plans and what assessments and interventions are involved to deliver superior and effective care. 

By Harriet Murray on Apr 08, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is a Constipation Nursing Care Plan template?

Constipation occurs when regular bowel movements decrease, often resulting in challenging or incomplete passage of stool. Affecting nearly 33 out of every 100 adults aged 60 or over, this prevalent gastrointestinal issue contributes significantly to annual hospitalizations (NIDDK, 2019). Constipation can be caused by an array of factors, such as medication use, the presence of comorbidities, and compromised rectal sensory-motor functionality. Bowel function can be impacted by the patient's fluid intake, sedentary lifestyle, and conditions such as diabetes or irritable bowel syndrome. Should the condition go unmanaged, serious issues such as fecal impaction, incontinence, hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, and anal fissures may develop. 

Using a constipation nursing care plan is key for addressing physiological, functional, psychological, pharmacological, and mechanical factors contributing to or exacerbating constipation. 

This well-designed care plan helps you identify signs and symptoms of the condition and chart the appropriate assessments and interventions needed to meet the goals of care. Common goals of a constipation nursing care plan involve the improvement of bowel functionality and relieving symptoms such as bloating and abdominal pain. Through establishing this care plan, the patient is expected to report a change in stool formation, aiming for a soft and formed stool. The patient will confirm relief from pain and straining during movements and feel empowered with information on prevention actions for constipation in the future. 

Printable Constipation Nursing Care Plan

Download this Constipation Nursing Care Plan to identify signs and symptoms of the condition and chart the appropriate assessments and interventions needed.

How does it work?

Step 1: Gather your resources

Constipation nursing care plans are a valuable resource and essential to keep on hand. Make sure that you have a copy of the free printable PDF when the need arises by either clicking the “Download Template” or “Use Template” button or by searching “ Constipation Nursing Care Plan” on Carepatron’s template library’s search bar on the website or app.

Step 2: Collate Essential Information

Once the patient's key information has been collected, an assessment can be made on the severity and prominence of the patient's constipation. Utilizing the constipation nursing care plan template to ensure all care goals are met, and interventions are clearly charted for is a seamless operation and easily accessible to relevant parties via Carepatron’s centralized workspace. 

The care plan allows for individualized treatment options and acts as a scaffolding to ensure goals of care are met, and the next steps are recorded for future reference or for distribution to other healthcare specialists who are part of the patient's care team. 

Step 3: Store the chart securely

After reviewing the constipation nursing care plan and creating a viable and individualized plan for the patient, you need to secure the plan so that access is only granted to relevant parties. 

Ensure this through Carepatrons HIPAA-compliant free patient records software. Here, all relevant medical records can be safely stored and collated for ease and security. 

Constipation Nursing Care Plan example (sample)

Eager to utilize this essential care planning tool? Acquire a free, downloadable, and printable Constipation nursing care plan template PDF that comes pre-filled with fictional data.

Our crafted sample template is designed to aid you in efficiently utilizing the chart and evaluating the goals of care for patients suffering from constipation. It includes dedicated sections for clinical notes and outlines the key components and interventions for an efficient constipation nursing care plan. 

Secure your copy by either previewing the sample below or clicking the "Download Example PDF" button.

Download this Constipation Nursing Care Plan example

Constipation Nursing Care Plan example (sample)

When would you use this template?

A constipation nursing care plan is utilized when patients experience difficulties in bowel movements, resulting in infrequent or uncomfortable passage of stool. Here are some potential scenarios where this care plan is used: 

Hospitalized patients

Individuals admitted to hospitals often experience constipation due to various factors such as changes in diet, reduced mobility, medications (like opioids or certain painkillers), dehydration, or the stress of hospitalization. Care plans aim to prevent and manage constipation during their stay.

Elderly care facilities

Older adults are prone to constipation due to age-related changes in bowel function, dietary habits, reduced physical activity, and medication use. Care plans in nursing homes or assisted living facilities focus on strategies to prevent and manage constipation in this population.

Chronic health conditions

Patients with chronic illnesses like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diabetes, neurological disorders, or spinal cord injuries often experience constipation as a symptom. Care plans address this issue as part of holistic management for these conditions.

Postoperative recovery

After surgeries, especially abdominal or pelvic procedures, patients commonly experience constipation due to anesthesia, reduced mobility, and changes in bowel function. Care plans include measures to promote bowel regularity and prevent complications post-surgery.

Home healthcare

Patients receiving care at home, particularly those with limited mobility or chronic conditions, may require specific constipation management strategies. Care plans emphasize dietary modifications, hydration, exercise, and medication adjustments to alleviate constipation.

What do the results mean?

When gathering physical, psychosocial, emotional, and diagnostic information, a nursing care plan for constipation will include the following aspects of assessment:

  • Assessment for changes in bowels: The frequency, time of day, pain or straining, and any previous charting of laxative or stool softener.
  • Observation of stool characteristics: By creating a baseline for future comparison, the intervention's effectiveness can therefore be seen. The amount, consistency, color, and odor will be recorded. Utilizing the Bristol Stool Scale for consistent charting between care staff is key. 
  1. Type One: Separate hard lumps, hard to pass.
  2. Type Two: Sausage-shaped yet lumpy.
  3. Type Three: Sausage-like but with cracks on the surface.
  4. Type Four: Sausage-like or snake-like. Soft and smooth.
  5. Type Five: Soft blobs with clear-cut edges that are passed easily.
  6. Type Six: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool.
  7. Type Seven: Watery with no solid pieces. Entirely liquid.
  • Assessment of the patient's lifestyle choices: A sedentary lifestyle and particular diets can trigger constipation, and a clearer picture of lifestyle and habits helps create preventive measures and education in the future to prevent further occurrences. 
  • Review of the patient's medical history and current medication use: Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism or the use of opioids can cause constipation. By identifying potential root causes, proper intervention can be made.
  • Assessment for the presence of emotional distress: Depression and anxiety, along with stress, may contribute to constipation. 
  • Assessment for laxative misuse: Particularly in the older population of patients, excessive use or misuse of stimulant laxatives may be present. 
  • Investigation into the cause of pain during stool passing: Difficulty passing stool may be due to hemorrhoids, rectal fissures, or skin breakdown. Identification of these will assist in appropriate intervention. 

If the patient has been constipated for 3-6 months with unsuccessful intervention, then anorectal testing may be required. Below are some of the typical nursing interventions made for treating constipation and assisting in the recovery process:

  • Manual disimpaction
  • Prescription for laxative or stool softeners and proper use
  • Lubrication or anesthetic cream
  • Education about lifestyle changes and high-fiber diets
  • Promoting adequate fluid intake
  • Avoiding consumption of gastrointestinal aggravators such as alcohol and caffeine
  • Encouragement for daily tracking of it is a chronic issue
  • Education on abdominal massage

Why use Carepatron as your Constipation Nursing Care Plan app?

Selecting Carepatron as your preferred application for creating a constipation nursing care plan offers numerous advantages for healthcare practitioners.

Carepatron provides a centralized workspace, allowing you to manage clinical documents and electronic patient records, set patient appointment reminders, and handle medical billing seamlessly and efficiently within the platform, eliminating the need for additional software downloads. This integrated and comprehensive approach simplifies and streamlines processes and tasks related to constipation management, care, and various other activities, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to focus most of your time, attention, and effort on patient care.

Carepatron is dedicated to offering a highly efficient and productive platform for thousands of healthcare professionals, allowing you to customize tools and workflows to meet your unique needs. Additionally, it empowers practitioners and patients to manage administrative tasks such as service booking and completing paperwork. The easy sharing of essential documents and data through the app ensures a top-quality customer experience.

We strongly believe in providing radical accessibility, making our app available on any device you have. Our portable medical dictation software simplifies clinical note-making and updates, ensuring an effortless process. With great accessibility comes great responsibility, and we prioritize the security of all notes, clinical records, results, and practitioner data by complying with global security requirements, including HIPAA, GDPR, and HITRUST.

General Practice Software


Amarenco, G. (2014). Bristol Stool Chart: étude prospective et monocentrique de “l’introspection fécale” chez des sujets volontaires. Progrès En Urologie, 24(11), 708–713.

Guérin, A., Mody, R., Fok, B., Lasch, K. L., Zhou, Z., Wu, E. Q., Zhou, W., & Talley, N. J. (2014). Risk of developing colorectal cancer and benign colorectal neoplasm in patients with chronic constipation. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 40(1), 83–92.

Hungin, A. P. (2021). Chronic Constipation in Adults: the Primary Care Approach. Digestive Diseases.

NIDDK. (2019, March 14). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Varma, J. S., J. Bradnock, Smith, R., & Smith, A. N. (1988). Constipation in the elderly. Diseases of the Colon & Rectum, 31(2), 111–115.

How do you create a Constipation Nursing Care Plan template?
How do you create a Constipation Nursing Care Plan template?

Commonly asked questions

How do you create a Constipation Nursing Care Plan template?

To create a comprehensive nursing care plan for constipation, simply create a customized plan from the scaffolding provided by Carepatron and cater to the patient's needs through the key aspects of assessment, intervention, and evaluation. 

When are Constipation Nursing Care Plan Templates used?

These valuable plan templates can be used at any point of the treatment journey for a patient with constipation to track, monitor, and plan all interventions by healthcare professionals and the patient themselves. 

How are the Constipation Nursing Care Plan Templates used?

Constipation nursing care plan templates are used to plan efficient and confident care delivery. They are designed to be customized to meet the individual patient's needs.

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