Translating Evidence to Practice: A Multisite Collaboration to Implement Guidelines and Improve Constipation Management in Patients With Cancer

Pamela K. Ginex

Christina Arnal

Dawn Ellis

Andrew Guinigundo

Kristina Liming

Betty Wade

evidence-based practice, opioid-induced constipation, symptom management
CJON 2021, 25(6), 721-724. DOI: 10.1188/21.CJON.721-724

Despite the high incidence of constipation in people with cancer, there is little research on management strategies for opioid-induced constipation (OIC). This project used the Plan-Do-Study-Act model to examine implementation of the Oncology Nursing Society GuidelinesTM to improve constipation management in patients with cancer. Nurse champions at four sites identified practice gaps, including providing education on OIC for patients who are new to opioids and increasing follow-up assessment. This project demonstrates that multisite, collaborative projects are feasible and may enhance patient quality of life and decrease anticipated complications.


  • Constipation occurs frequently in patients with cancer.
  • OIC occurs in as many as 90% of patients receiving opioids and can affect quality of life, limit pain management, and be discomforting for patients.
  • Collaborative quality improvement projects are an opportunity to move evidence-based guidelines to the point of care.
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