What is the best treatment for chronic constipation in the elderly?
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There is no one best evidence-based treatment for chronic constipation in the elderly. While the most common first-line treatments are dietary fiber and exercise, the evidence is insufficient to support this approach in the geriatric population (strength of recommendation [SOR]: for dietary fiber: A, based on a systematic review; for exercise: SOR: B, based on 1 good- and 1 fair-quality randomized controlled trial [RCT]). Herbal supplements (such as aloe), alternative treatments (biofeedback), lubricants (mineral oil), and combination laxatives sold in the US have not been sufficiently studied in controlled trials to make a recommendation (SOR: A, based on systematic review).
Journal of Family Practice, 56(12) 2007: 1050-1052.