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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2016, Article ID 4842090, 10 pages
Research Article

Abdominal Massage for the Relief of Constipation in People with Parkinson’s: A Qualitative Study

1Nursing, Midwifery, and Allied Health Professions, Research Unit, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow G4 0BA, UK
2Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions, Research Unit, Stirling University, Stirling, UK
3School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing, Nursing & Health Care School, 59 Oakfield Avenue, Gilmorehill Campus, Glasgow University, Glasgow, UK
4Care of Elderly Department, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, 84 Castle Street, Glasgow G4 0SF, UK

Received 22 August 2016; Revised 10 October 2016; Accepted 31 October 2016

Academic Editor: Peter Hagell

Copyright © 2016 D. McClurg et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To explore the experiences of people with Parkinson’s (PwP) who suffer from constipation, the impact this has on their lives, and the effect of using lifestyle changes and abdominal massage as a form of constipation management. Method. Fourteen semistructured interviews were completed (8 males and 6 females; mean age 72.2 years) at the end of a care programme, which consisted of either lifestyle advice and abdominal massage (intervention group; ) or lifestyle advice only (control group; ). Data were analysed using constant-comparison techniques and Framework methods. Themes and key quotes were identified to depict major findings. Findings. Four key themes were identified: (i) the adverse impact of bowel problems on quality of life; (ii) positive experience of behaviour adjustments: experimentation; (iii) abdominal massage as a dynamic and relaxing tool: experiential learning (intervention group only); (iv) abdominal massage as a contingency plan: hesitation (control group only). Constipation was reported as having a significant impact on quality of life. Participants in both groups perceived lifestyle advice to relieve symptoms. Specific improvements were described in those who also received the abdominal massage. Conclusions. Both lifestyle advice and abdominal massage were perceived to be beneficial in relieving symptoms of constipation for PwP.