Document Detail

A critical review of auscultating bowel sounds.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19966732     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Auscultation (listening for bowel sounds) is part of an abdominal physical assessment and is performed to determine whether normal bowel sounds are present. This article evaluates the technique involved in listening for bowel sounds and the significance of both normal and abnormal auscultation findings. Review of the relevant literature reveals conflicting information and a lack of available research on the topic of auscultating bowel sounds. The clinical significance of auscultation findings when there is no evidence base to support the practice of listening for bowel sounds is explored by further analysis of the literature and reflection by the author on the teaching she received and her own personal practice.
Heather Baid
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  British journal of nursing (Mark Allen Publishing)     Volume:  18     ISSN:  0966-0461     ISO Abbreviation:  Br J Nurs     Publication Date:    2009 Oct 8-21
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-12-07     Completed Date:  2010-01-08     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9212059     Medline TA:  Br J Nurs     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1125-9     Citation Subset:  N    
University of Brighton, Brighton, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Abdomen / anatomy & histology,  physiology
Auscultation* / methods,  nursing
Clinical Nursing Research
Diagnosis, Differential
Evidence-Based Practice
Gastrointestinal Motility*
Intestinal Obstruction / diagnosis*
Nursing Assessment / methods*
Palpation / methods,  nursing
Research Design
Time Factors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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