Bowel Movement Patterns and Constipation Prevalence in School Children of South Jordan

Eyad Altamimi, Mohammad Al-Safadi


Background: Pediatric constipation is a common problem worldwide. Diet is one of the major determinants of bowel movement patterns, including the presence of constipation. Little is known about bowel movement pattern in Jordanian children. Parents might not recognize constipation in school children, which could lead to delayed treatment and increase rate of complication. This study aimed to investigate bowel motion pattern and constipation prevalence in Jordanian children using self-reporting.

Methods: Six schools in Alkarak governorate were selected randomly. Students of grades 6 - 8 were asked to fill the Arabic version of Questionnaire on Pediatric Gastrointestinal Symptoms-Rome III (QPGS-RIII) questionnaire. Children were diagnosed with constipation if two or more criteria on the QPGS-RIII were met. Fishers exact test was used to analyze categorical data, while Students t-test was used for continuous data.

Results: Of 429 questionnaires administered, 413 (96.3%) were completed (males: 50.8%; mean age: 12.7 years old (range: 11 - 16 years old)). A statistically significant sex difference in the presence of hard, bulky bowel movements and fecal incontinence was observed (P = 0.000, 0.041 and 0.002, respectively). In our cohort, 110 (26.6%) children met Rome III criteria for constipation, which was not statistically significant by sex (59 (28.1%) versus 51 (25.1%), male versus female participants, respectively; P = 0.491).

Conclusion: Most Jordanian school children reported a daily soft bowel movement without pain or retention. Constipation affects approximately 25% of Jordanian school children between 11 and 16 years old.

Int J Clin Pediatr. 2018;7(4):47-50


Diet; Gastrointestinal symptoms; Pediatric; Bowel habits

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