Optimal bowel preparation is essential for successful screening or for surveillance colonoscopy (SC). Inadequate bowel preparation is associated with older age, the male gender, and the presence of certain comorbidities. However, the association between patients’ functional status and bowel preparation quality has not been studied. We prospectively examined the relationship between functional status, namely, the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) and ambulate, and the quality of bowel preparation in elderly patients undergoing SC.
Before undergoing SC, 88 elderly patients were surveyed regarding their functional status, specifically regarding their ability to perform ADLs and ambulate a quarter of a mile. Gastroenterologists then determined the quality of the bowel preparation, which was classified as either adequate or inadequate. Then, the frequency of inadequate bowel preparation in patients who did or did not experience difficulty performing ADLs and ambulating was calculated.
Difficulty ambulating (unadjusted odds ratio [OR], 4.83; p<0.001), difficulty performing ADLs (OR, 2.93; p=0.001), and history of diabetes (OR, 2.88; p=0.007) were significant univariate predictors of inadequate bowel preparation. After adjusting for the above variables, only difficulty ambulating (adjusted OR, 5.78; p=0.004) was an independent predictor of inadequate bowel preparation.
Difficulty with ambulation is a strong predictor of inadequate bowel preparation in elderly patients undergoing SC.