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How to use the Bristol Stool Chart in childhood constipation
  1. Samuel Harvey,
  2. Sona Matthai,
  3. David Anthony King
  1. Department of General Paediatrics, Sheffield Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr David Anthony King, Sheffield Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK; davidanthonyking{at}


Constipation in children is common and is a frequent cause for healthcare attendances in both primary and secondary care. The Bristol Stool Chart has become ubiquitous as an aid in the diagnosis and treatment of constipation, but many clinicians may not be aware of its origins or strengths and weaknesses. In this article, we outline the history and rationale behind the development of the Bristol Stool Chart and how it should be used in childhood constipation.

  • paediatrics
  • gastroenterology

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.