Document Type : Research Articles
Department of Nursing, Federal University of Rio Grande of Norte, Natal, Brazil.
Department, State University of Rio Grande of Norte, Caicó, Brazil.
Department of Nursing, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil.
Objective: To analyze the accuracy of clinical indicators of constipation in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.Methods: A diagnostic accuracy study was conducted from February to September 2018, with 240 cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The data collection instrument was a form with sociodemographic and clinical variables, and clinical indicators of constipation. The sensitivity and specificity of the clinical indicators of interest were calculated using a latent class analysis approach. Result: The prevalence of constipation in the sample was 86.6%. The most sensitive clinical indicators were straining with defecation (100.0%), and hypoactive bowel sounds (75.0%), while headache (99.9%), abdominal pain (75.0%), pain with defecation (75.0%), straining with defecation (99.9%) and liquid stool (78.1%) were indicators with high specificity. Conclusion: A set of six clinical indicators was significantly associated with the occurrence of constipation in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, especially straining with defecation. These indicators can be used by nurses to identify constipation and propose prompt and effective interventions.