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Managing diverticular disease in primary care settings

Margaret Perry looks at how nurses can diagnose this condition in older patients.

Diverticular disease predominantly affects older adults and can be asymptomatic, found opportunistically, or in some cases may never be diagnosed at all. In others , the disease may cause symptoms of variable severity, but in severe instances the patient may develop complications, leading to hospital admission and a potential increase in morbidity and mortality. This article hopes to give an overview of signs symptoms, management, and complications with the aim of helping nurses and non-medical prescribers feel more confident when assessing and advising their patients.

Diverticular disease

Diverticulosis is a condition which occurs when pouches form and push in an outwards direction in the walls of the colon.1 A single pouch is called a diverticulum, multiple pouches are called diverticula. For many people they are asymptomatic and therefore may never be diagnosed, however in some cases they can become symptomatic requiring treatment. This article hopes to give an overview of the condition, its symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and possible complications with a view to giving nurses and non-medical prescribers more confidence in recognising the disease and advising patients who present seeking advice or information, or who are having symptoms of this disease.

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