Background & Significance: Quality of life (QOL) is a general term used to describe a person’s subjective sense of well-being. Health-related quality of life is used to describe the impact of illness on well-being. QOL is a multidimensional construct whose domains include physical, psychological, and social functioning (Danovitch & Endicott, 2008). A literature search of terms quality of life and ostomy was done for the years since 2000. Studies were limited to those done in the
Design: This mixed-design study will have both quantitative and qualitative aspects. The research questions are:
1. How do Americans rate their quality of life after the creation of a colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy stoma?
2. What is average pouch wear time for Americans?
3. Do Americans consider gas and/or odor a problem and how do they cope with it?
4. What concerns related to sexuality do Americans have after surgery that results in a stoma?5.
Sample: Up to 600 persons age 18 or older, who have had a stoma 6 months or longer and have attended the UOAA biannual national conference or a meeting of their local chapter of the UOAA are expected to fill out a survey.
Data Collection: A tool was created by the researchers to collect demographic data, stoma care information, and incorporates the Ostomy Adjustment Inventory-23 (OAI-23), a quality of life tool that was found provide valid and reliable measurement of psychosocial adjustment after ostomy surgery in the United Kingdom. Permission was received to use it in this study. The surveys were distributed at the UOAA conference in New Orleans, August 7-8, 2009 and 129 were completed. Cover letters, surveys and stamped return envelopes are being distributed to participants at UOAA chapter meetings around the United States.
Consent & Capacity to Consent: A cover letter explaining the study is available to each potential subject. Filling out the survey and returning it to the researchers will indicate capacity to consent and consent to participate.
Data Analysis & Statistical Considerations: Descriptive statistics will be utilized to categorize the characteristics of the sample, such as counts, percentiles, and means and variability. Qualitative data will be analyzed for themes, patterns, and meanings. SPSS and/or SAS programs will be utilized. Funding: Researchers applied for and received the Dorothy Doughty Research Grant from the Southeast Region of the WOCN.