PHILADELPHIA — In this exclusive video from the American College of Gastroenterology Annual Meeting, William Chey, MD, FACG, of the division of gastroenterology at the University of Michigan Health System, discusses a survey he conducted along with Shire Pharmaceuticals that explored the burden of illness related to chronic constipation.
The survey comprised more than 800 patients with chronic constipation, as well as more than 200 gastroenterologists from across the United States.
“It allowed not only a comprehensive deep dive into patients’ illness experience and what doctors think about constipation, but a comparison of the results yield from the patients as well as the gastroenterologists,” Chey told Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease.
One of the main highlights of the survey, according to Chey, was that more than half of the patients reported that they spent more than an hour a day on the toilet, whereas 10% spent more than 5 hours. Although doctors seemed to appreciate the burden chronic constipation had on their patients’ lives, Chey said they did not necessarily appreciate the magnitude of the burden.
The other takeaway was that there was a bit of a gap between what patients thought their physicians taught them about their illness and what physicians said they discussed with their patients. Chey said this gap could come down to the sheer volume of information patients have to absorb during a visit, as well as complicated medical language often used by doctors.
“Think about the words that you choose when you’re explaining these conditions to your patients,” Chey said. “Make sure you use terminology they can understand. Think about the use of adjunctive educational materials — things like handouts, things like websites, things like books — almost like a homework assignment for your patients to make sure you reinforce the key points that you think are important for them to take away from their visit.”
Disclosure: Chey reports he has financial ties to Allergan, Biomedica, Conti, IM Health, Ironwood, MyGiHealth, Nestle, QOL Medical, Ritter, Salix, Shire, True Self Foods, Volcant and Zespori.