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Keywords:

  • acceptance;
  • adjustment;
  • interpersonal relationships;
  • nursing;
  • questionnaire;
  • self-efficacy;
  • stoma care

Abstract

Title. Adjustment to colostomy: stoma acceptance, stoma care self-efficacy and interpersonal relationships

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to examine adjustment and its relationship with stoma acceptance and social interaction, and the link between stoma care self-efficacy and adjustment in the presence of acceptance and social interactions.

Background. There have been significant advances in stoma appliances and an increase in nurses specialising in stoma care. Despite this, a large proportion of patients continue to experience adjustment problems, which suggests that improvements in the management of the stoma are by themselves not enough to enhance psychosocial functioning. Illness acceptance and interpersonal relationships are widely reported as correlates of adjustment to chronic illness, but these have not been specifically examined in patients with a colostomy. Evidence of their association could offer stoma therapists alternative ways of aiding adjustment.

Method.  Between 2000 and 2002, 51 patients with colostomies provided demographic and clinical data and completed validated questionnaires to measure acceptance of the stoma, relationship with others and stoma care self-efficacy 6 months after surgery.

Findings.  Multiple regression analysis showed that stoma care self-efficacy, stoma acceptance, interpersonal relationship and location of the stoma were strongly associated with adjustment. The model explained 77% of the variance. Stoma-care self-efficacy accounted for 57·5%, the psychosocial variables 13% and location of the stoma 4·6%. The addition of gender, which was not statistically significant (P > 0·05), explained a further 1·9% of the variance.

Conclusion.  Addressing psychosocial concerns should become part of the care routinely given to stoma patients. We recommend more emphasis on dispelling negative thoughts and encouraging social interactions.