Knowledge of quality of life of those that have undergone ostomy surgery has increased over the last decade. However, there is little quantitative information about how this population fares in comparison with the general population, or within itself when challenged by peristomal trauma such as skin irritation. This study investigates these issues in a sample of US ostomates (n=2,329). Of interest are social connectivity and social function, life satisfaction, and economic utility
This study investigates the social function domain of the US ostomy population, and compares this with normative values of the general population. The study also undertook an investigation into domain changes in the presence of peristomal skin complications, and assigns economic utilities as a reference for future researchers. The data was derived from the Pouch Impact Assessment and the SF36v2, consisting of records for adult ostomates in the continental US, Alaska, and Hawaii. General linear models adjusted for health status were utilized.
The analysis indicates mean norm based social function scores for the overall sample of ostomates in the study fall within the average range for the general population. Viewed by the degree of peristomal skin irritation, those with severe irritation are classified as demonstrating impaired function compared to the general population, and with those indicating normal peristomal skin. A relationship between social function, social connectivity, and peristomal skin condition and economic utility is shown.
The importance of healthy peristomal skin condition is demonstrated. For those with severely irritated peristomal skin social function can be impaired. When viewed as a component of social connectivity decreases in economic utility are demonstrated. Clinicians should be aware of the importance of healthy peristomal skin as a function of quality of life to the ostomate, and the community in which the ostomate lives