Using the Internet to teach parents and children about constipation and encopresis

October 26, 2017 by School of Medicine Webmaster

Since 1995, we have maintained a tutorial about chronic childhood constipation and encopresis on our web site. The tutorial is directed at parents and older children and includes a feedback form comprised of six multiple-choice questions and a free-text comment field. Between 1 January 1998 and 30 April 2000, we received 1 142 completed feedback forms. The vast majority of respondents identified themselves as parents or guardians of a child with constipation or encopresis. All respondents felt the tutorial was clear and easy to understand. 98% of respondents felt the tutorial helped them understand why children develop constipation and/or encopresis and 91% of respondents felt the tutorial made them better able to take care of a child suffering from constipation and/or encopresis. More than 99% of respondents felt this type of tutorial was a good way to teach people about health problems. 74% of respondents sent us comments about the tutorial. Most often, the comments expressed thanks for having this information available in clear and understandable language, however a significant number of people inquired about a particular child’s difficulties or asked a general question not clearly pertaining to a particular child. The results of this study indicate that many people are searching the Internet for information concerning childhood encopresis and that the World Wide Web can provide families with useful information about this common paediatric problem.