Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Copyright Statement

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College of Nursing

First Advisor

Marcia Derby-Davis

Second Advisor

Kelly Henson-Evertz

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Background: Constipation is a common problem in hospitalized patients worldwide. The providers’ lack of knowledge of the complications that can occur from constipation lead to increased discomfort and increased healthcare costs. Purpose: The purpose of this evidence-based practice education intervention was to improve neurosurgical health providers’ knowledge and attitudes on constipation prevention in neurosurgical patients. Theoretical Framework: Kolcaba’s Comfort Theory was used to guide this project. Methods: A pre- and post-test survey design guided this project. The physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses completed a pre-test and post-test survey on prevention of constipation in the neurosurgical patient before and after the educational session. Retrospective and prospective data from neurosurgical patients’ charts were collected before and after the educational sessions and were analyzed to determine if the educational sessions decreased hospital length of stay, emergency room visits, and re-admission rates. Results: There was overall improvement in knowledge of RNs, APRNs, and neurosurgeons as well as significant improvement of attitudes in three critical areas concerning how the participants feel towards constipation prevention and management. There was no significant improvement in patient outcomes. Conclusion: The findings from the project indicated that participants gained significant knowledge from the education session (p = 0.016). The educational sessions can be applied to providers of other patient populations. Although the patient outcomes did not significantly improve (p = 0.089), findings from the project revealed a lack of hospital protocol for nurses to perform digital rectal exams. A protocol is currently in the process of being developed.




neurosurgeons attitudes, medical knowledge deficits, constipation in neurosurgical patient, prevention



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