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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2023, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (6): 550-560.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2023.11.002

• Clinical Practice Guidelines • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A clinical pathway for integrative medicine in the treatment of functional constipation in Hong Kong, China

Dong-jue Wei a, Hui-juan Li a, Zi-pan Lyu a,b, Ai-ping Lyu a, Zhao-xiang Bian a,b, Linda LD Zhong a,b   

  1. a School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China
    b School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 637551, Singapore
  • Received:2022-10-02 Accepted:2023-08-03 Online:2023-12-08 Published:2023-11-07
  • Contact: Linda LD Zhong, PhD; E-mail: Zhao-xiang Bian, PhD; E-mail:

Functional constipation (FC) is a common intestinal disease worldwide. Despite the presence of criteria such as Roman IV, there is no standardized diagnosis and treatment algorithm in Hong Kong that combines both Western and Chinese medicine approaches. This study integrates current effective and safe diagnosis and treatment methods for FC and provides a clear and scientific pathway for clinical professionals and patients.

A systematic search of the PubMed, Cochrane Library, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure databases was performed from their inception to June 30th, 2022, collecting the current evidence about the efficacious integrative management for FC. We organized a meeting of professionals in fields relevant to treatment and management of FC to develop a consensus agreement on clinical pathway process.

We developed a clinical pathway for the treatment of FC based on the most recent published guidelines and consultation with experts. This pathway includes a hierarchy of recommendations for every step of the clinical process, including clinical intake, diagnostic examination, recommended labs, diagnostic flowchart, and guidance for selection of therapeutic drugs.

This pathway establishes clinical standards for the diagnosis and treatment of FC using Chinese medicine and Western medicine; it will help to provide high-quality medical services in Hong Kong for patients with FC.

Key words: Functional constipation, Clinical pathway, Hong Kong, Integrative medicine

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