COSMIN database

Constipation assessment scales in adults: a literature review including the new Bowel Function Index

Coffin, B. and Causse, C.
Constipation is a common clinical condition and patient and physician perception of the disorder can vary considerably. The assessment of a symptom-based condition such as constipation is challenging, in terms of making the diagnosis, assessing the severity of symptoms and their impact on a patient's quality of life, and assessing response to therapy or changes to symptoms over time. In order to assist physicians in assessing the severity of constipation and its related discomfort, several rating scales have been developed. During the course of a literature search, 16 studies were identified that reported assessment scales based on a selection of varied symptoms of constipation and that evaluated these scales in different groups of individuals; two studies presented stool form as being key to assessing transit time. In the present article, the characteristics and psychometric evaluation of these different constipation assessment scales, including the new Bowel Function Index, are reported with a view to discussing which assessment tool appears to be most robust and/or useful in daily clinical practice.
Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol
1747-4132 (Electronic)
Publication year:
Symptom status:
Physical state
Adults (18-65)
Seniors (65+)
Diseases of and symptoms related to the digestive system
PRO / non-PRO:
Non-patient Reported Outcome
Patient Reported Outcome
Type of measurement instrument:
1 - Questionnaires
2 - Interviews
6 - Clinical rating scales
BFI - Bowel Function Index
BSFS - Bristol Stool Form Scale   
CAS - Constipation Assessment Scale
Constipation Severity Instrument
CSS - Constipation Scoring System
FICA/FISS - Fecal Incontinence and Constipation Assessment Questionnaire/Fecal incontinence severity score
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]
Patients with Fecal Incontinence & Constipation Questionnaire
Rome III-CM - Rome III Diagnostic Questionnaire, Constipation Module
SBFQ - Subjective Bowel Function Questionnaire
VSAQ - Visual Scale Analog Questionnaire