Bathrooms, Incontinence, and Withholding OH MY: Occupational Therapy’s Role in Pediatric Constipation Management

Date of Award


Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Health Science

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Shana Cerny, OTD, OTR/L, BCP, TBRI Educator


occupational therapy, pediatric constipation, pediatric incontinence, interoception

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


The purpose of this project was to gain advanced clinical experience in pediatric constipation and incontinence management through application of mounting evidence of occupational therapy’s role in fostering improved interoceptive awareness, tolerance of toileting stimuli, and independence in toileting tasks. This capstone was completed at the outpatient LifeScape Rehabilitation Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The student collaborated with a primary occupational therapist serving as a site mentor, other occupational therapists, physical therapists, and clinical psychologists all specialized in constipation and incontinence management. Advanced clinical practice was demonstrated by student management of the site mentor’s constipation and incontinence caseload, completed continuing education, an online constipation and incontinence resource guide, and theory to practice paper. The online resource guide was created containing quick information for covering occupational therapists, created handouts, novel interventions, and demonstration of interactive digestive system model entrusted to the host site. As occupational therapy’s role in addressing constipation, incontinence, and interoceptive difficulties in relation to the vital activity of daily living (ADL) of toileting is emerging, further research regarding the efficacy of related interoceptive, sensory processing, and skill acquisition are warranted.

Keywords: occupational therapy, pediatric constipation, pediatric incontinence, interoception