Students and Clinicians launch game to destigmatise constipation

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A group of innovative FdA Games Design for Industry students from Cornwall College University Centre have teamed up with Professor (Dr.) Rohit Shankar MBE, FRCPsych from the Cornwall Intellectual Disability Equality Research (CIDER) group, a research partnership between Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and University of Plymouth, to create an engaging new game for future development. 

Constipation in people with intellectual disabilities is a significant and poorly managed clinical need. 

Around a third of people with intellectual disabilities encounter chronic constipation during their life time. This can be a result of having medications or other health conditions. 

Constipation is recognised to be associated with psychological distress, emergency admission and premature mortality in this vulnerable group. 

It is a treatable condition but poorly recognised and supported by families and carers. This is due to ignorance and stigma. 

The “Poo Manager” game aims to destigmatise constipation and promote better health understanding amongst individuals with intellectual disabilities. 

Professor (Dr.) Rohit Shankar along with representatives from Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Cornwall People First, CHAMPS from Cornwall Council and other disability groups, joined lecturer Stephen Howard and the Games Design students at the Camborne campus of The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) to officially launch the computer game and gather valuable feedback for further development. 

“We’re immensely thankful to all the students who’ve transformed our vision into a tangible reality,” said Prof. Shankar. “This game will serve as an invaluable tool for care professionals and families supporting people with intellectual disabilities prone to constipation. It’s fantastic to see such ambitious Games Design students at Cornwall College create something that will potentially save lives, and contribute greatly to society.” 

Higher Education Programme Manager for Games Design, Stephen Howard, expressed his excitement about the students’ performance and the positive feedback received. 

“We’re absolutely ecstatic to receive such phenomenal feedback. The overwhelmingly positive reaction we have received has been truly remarkable, and the students are delighted to be making a difference in people’s lives.” 

Stephen added: “At the official launch, members of the local community groups had a chance to try out the “Poo Manager” game, as well as our virtual reality equipment and it’s been a fantastic event.” 

The next stage of the plan is to further develop the game and introduce it to care providers and the NHS, ensuring that it becomes a widely used educational tool in promoting health education and destigmatising constipation. 

This success follows previous collaboration between CIDER and TCCG Games Design for Industry students, who have created a bespoke digital experience tailored specifically for CIDER.  

To find out more about Games Design, or similar creative opportunities at the Top FE College for education and training in Cornwall, visit