COSMIN database

Review article: self-report measures to evaluate constipation

McCrea, G. L., Miaskowski, C., Stotts, N. A., Macera, L., Hart, S. A., and Varma, M. G.
BACKGROUND: Constipation is a subjective phenomenon, and as such must be evaluated using patient self-report. Valid and reliable measures of constipation are essential to standardize the diagnosis, assess the severity and evaluate the effectiveness of treatments.

AIM: To compare and contrast published self-report measures of constipation in terms of development, content, general characteristics, psychometric properties and clinical utility.

METHODS: MEDLINE (1966-2007), CINAHL (1980-2007), Cochrane (1993-2007) and Web of Science (1995-2007) were searched to identify self-report measures of constipation. Measures of constipation were selected if they: (i) were self-report measures that measured only constipation; (ii) had undergone psychometric testing; (iii) were used in adults and (iv) were written in English.

RESULTS: Seven self-report measures of constipation were identified. The content areas evaluated by these measures varied. Only two measures had adequate validity and reliability, sensitivity to change, or were tested in more than one sample.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings from this review suggest that the Chinese Constipation Questionnaire and the Patient Assessment of Constipation-Symptom Questionnaire demonstrate adequate psychometric properties for a constipation measure. Additional research is warranted to refine or develop a more comprehensive self-report measure to evaluate constipation in adults.
Aliment Pharmacol Ther
1365-2036 (Electronic)
Publication year:
Symptom status:
Physical state
Adults (18-65)
Seniors (65+)
Diseases of and symptoms related to the digestive system
PRO / non-PRO:
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
CAS - Constipation Assessment Scale
CCQ - Chinese Constipation Questionnaire
CSS - Constipation Scoring System
GQ - Garrigues Questionnaire
KESS - Knowles Eccersley Scott Symptom Score
PAC-SYM - Patient Assessment of Constipation-Symptom [Alias: PAC-QOL - Patient Assessment of Constipation-Symptoms and Quality of Life]
VSAQ - Visual Scale Analog Questionnaire