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Constipation/Encopresis RECS Learning Module


  1. Understand the normal anatomy and physiology of the anorectal tract.
  2. Be familiar with the ROME III criteria for diagnosing functional constipation
  3. Effectively treat constipation/encopresis based on published guidelines
  4. Distinguish among encopresis, Hirschsprung disease, and other organic causes of fecal soiling.
  5. Explain the physiologic effect of stool retention.
  6. Describe the approach that results in the greatest success in the treatment of constipation and encopresis.
  7. Understand when to refer to a pediatric gastroenterologist


  1. T or F?  Children with Hirschsprung's disease typically pass large bowel movements and soil their underpants.  
  2. Name some medications that can be used for the treatment of constipation (per NASPGHAN guidelines).
  3. What are some important stool history questions to ask to help delineate between functional vs. organic encopresis?
  4. A combination of what three medical models is necessary for successful treatment of constipation and encopresis? How long does treatment typically take? What is the recurrence rate?
  5. What percentage of children with functional constipation will continue to experience symptoms into adulthood?
  6. How does encopresis differ from delayed bowel training?

Reviewed 9/2017

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