The Use of Digital Rectal Examinations in Palliative Care Inpatients
Letter to the editor in a scholarly journal
Changes in people's usual bowel habits present clinically as constipation or diarrhea. Successful palliation of such problems is optimized by understanding the most likely pathophysiology underlying the symptom. However such problems are highly subjective. An assessment must therefore always begin with the person's self-description of their problems, supplemented with physical examination. Specialist gastroenterology and palliative care guidelines recommend that this includes a digital rectal examination (DRE).
Clark, K., Currow, D. C., & Talley, N. J. (2010). The use of digital rectal examinations in palliative care inpatients. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 13(7), 797-797. doi:10.1089/jpm.2010.0019