Background/Aims: It is essential that clinicians have an understanding of patients' perceptions of constipation as well as constipation misperception (CM), which can be defined as failure to recognize the six constipation symptoms (infrequency, straining, hard stool, incomplete evacuation, anorectal obstruction or manual maneuver). The aims of our study were to identify the prevalence of CM and its association with demographics and clinical features. Methods: This nationwide survey included 625 self-reported constipated subjects (431 females; mean age, 41.2 years) among random participants in the National Health Screening Program. The prevalence of CM for each constipation symptom was estimated, and the participants were classified into nil (0), low (1-2), mid (3-4) and high (5-6) level CM subgroups according to the number of misperceived symptoms. Results: The highest rate of CM was observed for manual maneuver (48.3%), followed by anorectal obstruction (38.4%), stool infrequency (34.6%), incomplete evacuation (32.2%), hard stool (27.2%) and straining (25.4%). Among the nil (n = 153), low (n = 242), mid (n = 144) and high level (n = 86) subgroups, there were significant differences in the proportions of males (18.3%, 34.3%, 39.6% and 30.2%; P = 0.001, respectively), never-married status (25.7%, 38.2%, 36.8% and 45.9%; P = 0.030, respectively) and those who did not receive treatment for constipation (41.8%, 47.5%, 58.3% and 66.3%; P < 0.001, respectively). There was a significant linear trend of increasing degree of CM with decreasing symptoms experienced (P < 0.001). Conclusions: CM is significantly associated with gender, marital status, treatment utilization and the range of constipation symptoms experienced.
- Health surveys