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World's biggest study of multi-million pound health problem launched

ation sessions with patients. Whilst there is a general level of agreement amongst healthcare professionals as to the sort of diet and lifestyle patients need to adopt to avoid constipation, there is no clear evidence as to the best way to get the message across.

One approach that LIFELAX will use is to offer personalised lifestyle and diet advice to patients. Another approach will be to provide an information booklet for the patient to take away from the surgery. A range of specially-designed information leaflets has been created with the help of local patients for use in the study.

The progress of each patient will be tracked over one year by the research team which will collect and analyse diet diaries and questionnaires.

Research team member Dr Amelia Lake, a registered dietitian, said: "To date, comparatively little research has been carried out to tackle constipation.

"This is mainly because the condition is not life-threatening and people with constipation often suffer in silence because they are too embarrassed to talk about it.

"However, we know that not only is the condition costly to health services, it has a major effect on patients' quality of life. People with constipation are often reluctant to leave the house in case they need the toilet, or they may suffer painful bloating or feel tired and depressed.

"We hope LIFELAX will go a long way towards helping these people feel that they can live a normal life again, as well as allowing us to gather valuable data to inform advice for the future treatment of constipation in the UK and elsewhere."

LIFELAX (Diet and LIFEstyle versus LAXatives in the management of constipation in older people), is funded by the NHS Health Technology Assessment Programme.


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Contact: Dr. Amelia Lake
amelia.lake@ncl.ac.uk
44-191-282-4009
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
22-Feb-2005


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