Effectiveness of Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum in Improving Fecal Characteristics in Long Term Care Facility Residents

  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    The University of Hong Kong
Updated on 9 August 2022
abdominal pain
other laxatives
fiber products
Accepts healthy volunteers


Partially hydrolyzed guar gum (PHGG) is a vegetal, water soluble, non-viscous, non-gelling dietary fiber that is derived from guar gum, a water-soluble, viscous, gelling polysaccharide found in the seeds of Cyamopsis tetragonolobus. PHGG is food for special medical purpose and available over-the-counter. It is as effective as lactulose treatment in relieving constipation associated abdominal pain in children. Up-to-date, there is no randomized study regarding the effectiveness of PHGG in reducing constipation in long term care facility residents, the investigator therefore would like to perform a prospective, randomized study to assess its effectiveness in long term care facility residents to improve fecal characteristics and its effect on use of laxative agents.


This is a prospective, randomized, single blinded, parallel-group trial for the residents in long term care facilities covered by Community Geriatric Assessment Team of Queen Mary Hospital and Fung Yiu King Hospital. The investigator aim to recruit 52 subjects from those long term care facilities.

Subject fulfilling the inclusion criteria will be screened from the Community Geriatric Assessment Team (CGAT) of Fung Yiu King Hospital by the investigators. Study information will be explained to subject in detail and consent form (in Chinese) will be given to subject. Before commencing, subjects will be allowed to have one week to consider joining the study.

After informed consent, subjects will be randomly assigned into 2 groups. One group receive PHGG following study protocol (treatment group). Another group will be control group, no PHGG will be given. For treatment group, subjects will take 5g PHGG per day (which equals 4.2g dietary fiber) through mixing with 20ml water during treatment period. Since after mixing with PHGG, the water remains colorless and odorless, control group will also be given 20ml water by long term care facility staff as a blinding process to participant.

The study consist of two periods: a 2-week run-in period and a 4-week treatment period. During run-in period, patient's demographic characteristics will be recorded. Eligibility of patients to proceed to the treatment period will be determined, according to their baseline symptoms stool log. Stool frequency, stool characteristics (according to Bristol stool scale ranging from 1: hard stool to 7: liquid stool) and use of laxative medication will be recorded through a record diary given to subjects. During treatment period, both group of subjects need to record stool frequency, stool characteristics and use of laxative medication. Any adverse reaction will be recorded. Satisfaction of subjects towards PHGG will be assessed by questionnaire with quantification through Likert scale. Subjects will be instructed to maintain their usual daily activities including exercise, food habits, and medication consumption.

Outcome measures:

Primary outcome Fecal frequency (assessed by recording defecation times/day) Fecal characteristics (assessed by Bristol Stool Scale)

Secondary outcome Use of laxative agents per day

Condition Constipation
Treatment Partially hydrolyzed guar gum
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05037565
SponsorThe University of Hong Kong
Last Modified on9 August 2022

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