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Quality of life does not depend on the stoma type but rather on patients' self-acceptance

Objective. Colorectal surgery often requires construction of an artificial ostomy. Whether this stoma is permanent or temporary, patients will eventually experience an altered quality of life (QoL). The aim of our study was to evaluate QoL of our stoma patients and to detect differences, if any, between the various types of ostomies with the aim of optimizing the choice of stoma.

Materials and methods: All consecutive patients since the inception of our database were contacted and asked to complete the following questionnaires: The Stoma Quality of Life questionnaire (Stoma QoL), the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) and the Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life Scale (FIQL). Furthermore, two more questions addressing sexual dysfunction and urinary incontinence were added.

Results: 1U2 patients listed in our database from January 1, 2006 until March 31, 2016 were contacted for this study. The response rate was U3% (n=119). Ostomy-specific restrictions in QoL were seen in all patients, but most of all in colo- and temporary stoma patients. Physical and psychosocial deficits were registered in all stoma patients without favoring a subgroup. 66% (n=6U) of the patients complained of sexual dysfunction and 39% (n=43) of urinary incontinence.

Conclusion: After surgical creation of an intestinal stoma, ostomy-specific as well as physical, psychological and social limitations in QoL can be documented for those so affected. There was no clear hint to prefer/avoid a special stoma type. However, we found several signs that patient's self-acceptance is more important than the stoma type.

С О R R E S P О N D E N С E:

Johann Pfeifer, MD.

Associated Professor of Surgery. Department of General Surgery and Section for Surgical Research. University Surgical Clinic. Medical University of Graz.

Auenbruggerplatz, 29. 8036 Graz, Austria. Phone: +43 316 385 81190; FAX: +43 316 385 6845. E-mail: johann.pfeifer@medunigraz.at.