Objectives: To compare health-related quality of life, emotional functioning and illness cognitions between people with and without a stoma after rectal cancer treatment about 8 years ago and to examine the relation between illness cognitions and health-related quality of life and emotional functioning.
Methods: Sixty-two people who had undergone abdominoperineal resection with a permanent stoma and 60 people who had undergone low anterior resection without a permanent stoma participated. Questionnaires included the European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire—C30, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Illness Cognition Questionnaire.
Results: There were no significant differences between people with and without a stoma in health-related quality of life, emotional functioning and illness cognitions. There were moderate and significant relations between the illness cognitions helplessness (negative) and disease acceptance (positive) on the one hand and health-related quality of life and emotional functioning on the other. For helplessness this relation barely differed between people with and without a stoma, but for disease acceptance this relation was stronger for people without a stoma than for people with a stoma.
Conclusions: The study showed no differences in health-related quality of life, but a stronger relation between disease acceptance and health-related quality of life for people without a stoma than for people with a stoma. If this relation is causal, people with negative illness cognitions after rectal cancer treatment might be identified and offered help. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.