Examining the key factors impacting on the implementation of an educational program on constipation in specialist palliative care

Sonja J McIlfatrick, Deborah Muldrew, F. Hasson, Paul F Slater, Emma Carduff, Mike Clarke, Jo Coast, Anne Finucane, Lisa Graham, Philip Larkin, John MacArtney, Noleen McCorry, Max Watson, Eileen Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Introduction: Constipation is one of the most common symptoms in patients in specialist palliative care (SPC) settings, and can cause considerable physical, psychological, and social suffering for the patient and their family. Due to the high variability in constipation assessment and management in SPC settings, questions exist around how to implement an educational program in practice to address this clinical gap
Aim: To develop and test the feasibility and acceptability of a novel educational intervention for HCPs to manage constipation experienced by people in SPC settings.
Method: Using the MRC framework for complex interventions, and guided by the consolidated framework for implementation research, an online resource was developed considering the content, context, and processes for implementation.
Results. Assessment, prevention, and management were identified as the core aspects. Six sessions with theoretical content, application to practice, and reflection through interacting with colleagues were developed in line with the best available evidence. Incentives including an educational bursary and alignment with revalidation, and support from senior management, champions, and the research team were identified as key elements needed successful implementation. Funding, IT infrastructure, and attitudes to the content have been flagged as potential barriers to success.
Conclusion(s). A six week, blended program covering the key concepts for assessment and management of constipation in palliative care has been created. Content, evidence from the literature and empirical data on the preferred structure and method of delivery, as well as key considerations of the contextual factors have been identified as key factors for implementation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-372
JournalBMJ Supportive & Palliative Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018


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