Comparing a probiotic and non-probiotic intervention in their ability to improve bowel habits of residents in nursing homes (WC2016-072)

Background

Starting date: 01/04/2017

There is a relative high prevalence of constipation and antibiotic-associated diarrhoea (AAD) in the elderly residents of nursing homes, mainly due to high antibiotic and medication usage. Constipation and diarrhoea causes a substantial burden on lives of the frail elderly and significantly reduces the quality of life (QoL). In addition, these circumstances lead to a higher workload for healthcare workers and treatment of constipation and diarrhoea increase costs in healthcare. There are indications that the gastrointestinal microbiome is altered in conditions, such as constipation and AAD. Research indicates that probiotics show potential in the treatment of constipation, AAD and infectious diarrhoea. Probiotics can restore the aberrant gastrointestinal microbiome and thereby possibly treat/prevent constipation and diarrhoea in the frail elderly population. To illustrate, a previous pilot study of probiotic administration in elderly residents of a nursing home demonstrated a reduced prevalence of constipation and diarrhoea stool types and a higher prevalence of ideal stool types during the intervention compared to the baseline period. These promising results demand for a confirmatory study in this population.