Methods: A life satisfaction index was compiled from the Ostomy Comprehensive Health and Life Assessment. The life satisfaction index identified two groups that are defined as polar opposites. The first group (Group 1) is those in which the life satisfaction index is positive and respondents also report the stoma having a positive effect on their lives. The polar opposite group (Group 2) is found to have a negative life satisfaction index and report that the stoma has a negative impact on their lives.
Results: Group 1 reports a positive change in post surgical health perception compared to pre-surgical health status, while Group 2 reports no change between pre and post surgical health status. In addition, 24 percent of Group 2 report not having adapted to living with a stoma. None of Group 1 reports this. Group 2 is also more likely to consider themselves disabled because of their stoma than Group 1. Interestingly, Group 1 is twice as likely to have the assistance of an ET/WOCN both pre and post surgery.
Discussion: The association between poor health perception and poor life satisfaction exists and manifests itself in various ways. The data from the study suggests that post surgical experience is linked to perceptions of health status which may be influenced by ET/WOCN interventions.
Conclusions: While many factors may influence the post surgical experience of the ostomy patient, ET/WOCN pre and post surgical care is seen to be a positive experience.