- Explain to relatives of nursing home residents that this study associates constipation with outbreaks of physical aggression.
ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn., June 30 — Constipation can trigger physical aggression in a nursing home resident with dementia, researchers here reported.
In a large group of residents with dementia, those with constipation were about as likely to exhibit aggressive physical behavior as those who experienced hallucinations, said Ralph Leonard, M.D., M.P.H., of the medical software company CALM-MD here.
"To our knowledge no prior studies have investigated the association of constipation," Dr. Leonard and colleagues said in the June 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. "We chose to study constipation a priori because it is common, modifiable, and recognized by clinicians to be a cause of many non-specific symptoms."
The cross-sectional study also confirmed results of previous studies that depression, delusions, and hallucinations were linked with aggressive behavior in nursing home residents with dementia, the authors said.