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Research project

Self-management of Childhood Constipation

Project overview

Constipation affects 1 in 3 children in the UK. Symptoms are unpleasant for children and challenging for parents/carers to cope with. Constipation can resolve, but around half of children with constipation continue to have symptoms over several months or years. Spotting and managing symptoms early can help reduce the time children have them. Recent research suggests parents/carers can find it hard to ask for help and get useful advice online. Parents/carers also report feeling dismissed by health care professionals when help is sought. This means we need better support resources (or interventions) to help parents/carers manage their child’s constipation.

This project will find out what parents/carers of children aged 6 months to 5 years need from a new resource. We will carry out an online survey to find out parents/carers thoughts about constipation and resources they have used before. We will also chat to parents/carers about the ups and downs of managing constipation from their perspective. Findings will be used to plan a new resource to help parents/carers manage their child's constipation. The project is being conducted in collaboration with ERIC, The Children's Bladder and Bowel Charity.

NIHR SPCR FR5 project 632


Dr Rachel Dewar-Haggart:
Miss Riya Tiwari:
Dr Samantha Hornsey:


Lead researcher

Dr Leanne Morrison

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Health Psychology 
  • Person-based intervention development 
  • Digital technology 
Other researchers

Professor Hazel Everitt

Professor of Primary Care Research

Research interests

  • Supporting Self-management 
  • Healthcare communication
  • Development of digital interventions

Dr Ingrid Muller BSc, MSc, PhD, CPsychol, FHEA

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Self-management of long-term conditions
  • Behavioural health interventions
  • Digital health

Professor Miriam Santer

Professor of Primary Care Research

Research interests

  • Self-management of long-term conditions
  • Primary Care Dermatology - particularly eczema, acne and cellulitis
  • Mixed methods research including development and evaluation of complex interventions

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

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