Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Phyllis Meyer Gaspar


A study of 18 nursing home residents was conducted to: 1) investigate the effects of nonnutritive sucking (NNS) two times a day for one week on the frequency and consistency of bowel elimination; 2) determine individual characteristics that differentiate those subjects that NNS had an effect on from those subjects it was not effective for. A clinical quasi-experimental design was conducted for 17 days. Baseline data were collected from chart audits. Stool frequency and consistency were recorded for the 17 days. Subjects sucked on paraffin suckers 10 minutes two times daily for 7 days (days 6-12) in a group setting. Laxative and suppository use were recorded during the 17 days of the study. The major conclusions were: 1) NNS increased the frequency of bowel elimination among 11 subjects during the intervention phase of the study, (pα .05). The consistency of stools were no [sic] significant (α .05); 2) individual characteristics did not differentiate, (α .05), those subjects that NNS had an effect on from those subjects it had no effect for. NNS had the greatest effect on those subjects on heavier weight and among males.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Constipation -- Treatment
Defecation disorders -- Age factors
Geriatric nursing



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University