Not a clinic day goes by without a patient (or parent) complaining of constipation. Although seemingly “mundane” to some, the topic is of immense importance to our patients with a diverse variety of etiologies. Unfortunately, education on constipation is frequently overlooked, yet can be a significant cause of morbidity in the elderly, hospitalized patient and can provoke unnecessary visits to the ER or urgent care for parents.
The new Constipation Management app from the University of Utah Health aims to provide an “all you need to know” approach to the topic. Written by Dr. Ashok Tuteja with credits to other university staff, the app is an authoritative overview of the topic clearly derived from lectures by Dr. Tuteja. The app covers the gamut of topics from the definition of constipation, etiologies, work-up, and management. The app includes medical and non-medical approaches to management from OTC to prescription medications to biofeedback. The app even includes several short video clips covering proper biofeedback for constipation. Interestingly, the entire app can be viewed while simultaneously listening to the author discuss each module.
The Constipation Management app incorporates expert opinion from the University of Utah Health system along with selected references included in the app. The app does not outline any current guidelines (though several are references) and the most current reference is from 2014. There are very detailed sections on opioid-induced constipation and biofeedback that provide very useful information that some providers may not be as familiar with as common constipation treatments.
What providers would benefit from this app?
Students, residents, mid-levels, family medicine, general internal medicine, or any provider who sees patients with constipation.
o Ability to read or listen to content.
o Detailed sections on opioid-induced constipation and biofeedback.
o Available for Android.
o Essentially a lecture in app form.
o No section on initial management approach or guidelines.
o Minimal information on constipation in children.
Constipation Management from the University of Utah Health is an effective educational app for primary care providers interested in improving their knowledge of constipation. The author is clearly an expert in his field and provides clear, concise and highly usable information. The only drawbacks are the limited times one may use the app since it is essentially a constipation lecture series in app form unless it is regularly updated/expanded. The app could be improved with the inclusion of more information on approaches to management, national guidelines, and pediatric constipation.
o 4 stars
o 4 stars
Easy to navigate between modules or review sequentially; no dedicated sections on “approach to management” or pediatrics.
o 4.5 stars
Users can view all modules of app or listen to the author lecture on each section. App has several quality videos on biofeedback and other topics.
o 5 stars
App is free.
o 4 stars
A highly educational app that is viewed or streamed that provides an excellent overview of constipation for free. The app would be even better if it discussed current guidelines and/or algorithms to approach the constipated patient.
Device Used For Review
o iPhone 8S running iOS 12.3.1.
Available for Download for iPhone, iPad, and Android.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.