Despite patients’ widespread acknowledgment of their recurring or chronic constipation, their knowledge of prescription and therapy options are low, according to a new report by Phreesia.
The “Patients in focus: Constipation treatment and perceptions” report surveyed more than 6,700 patients, 41% of whom said they live with constipation for at least 12 months. In addition, almost half of those surveyed admitted to experiencing constipation for more than five years.
And although 90% of patients said they understood that over-the-counter constipation drugs are not meant for long-term use, 50% still continued to take these OTC medications for more than a year.
So where is the disconnect between what patients know about constipation and why they are not getting advice and prescription solutions from doctors? While 41% of patients had spoken to physicians about their condition at some point, this discussion was held in fewer than one out of four appointments on average.
And the Phreesia analysis notes that this one-time, patient-doctor conversation is not enough. Patients reported not having enough time (34%) during an appointment, being happy with their current treatment (31%) and/or lacking awareness that constipation could be discussed with their provider (29%) as reasons for not having talking more with their physicians.