Implementation of a Peer-Facilitated New Ostomy Patient Workshop

Heather Brigstock, MSN, RN, CNL, University of San Francisco, Santa Rosa, CA
Hospital admissions are now shorter than ever, with the majority of new ostomy patients discharged to the home setting. Therefore, follow-up care and education are crucial. Unfortunately, many patients are unable to obtain this follow-up due to barriers such as lack of insurance reimbursement for home care and a lack of outpatient clinics equipped to provide care for ostomy patients. Follow-up care and quality of patient education can affect patient health confidence.

Low patient health confidence has been found to correlate with higher complication and readmission rates. Conversely, peer to peer education has been shown to increase patient learning and self-efficacy. The literature has shown that ostomy patients have a desire to learn from a peer in addition to their certified nurse. In response to this desire, a community based peer-facilitated new ostomy patient workshop was implemented using both hands-on format and lecture to reinforce and build upon the patient education performed in the hospital. Patients were given the opportunity to ask the peer facilitator questions related to life with an ostomy, as well as given information about community resources for ostomates. The facilitator was a master’s prepared nurse with 15 years of experience living with an ostomy. The workshop objective was to increase patient health confidence through increased education and support. Five patients, two caregivers and two CWOCNs attended. The patient attendees were all more than nine months post-discharge, therefore health confidence could not be measured in newly discharged patients. However, attendee feedback strongly supported the value of the workshop, particularly the peer to peer format. Attendee feedback also expressed a desire to make the workshop a permanent community resource for ostomy patients.