Preoperative Intensive, Community-Basedvs.Traditional Stoma Education: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

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Conventional practice in colorectal surgery involves stoma education being imparted postoperatively. Proficiency in stoma management often delays patients' discharge following colorectal surgery. The aim of this randomized, controlled trial was to compare preoperative intensive, community-based stoma education with conventional postoperative stoma education after elective colorectal surgery.


Forty-two elective colorectal patients requiring a stoma were randomized into an intensive preoperative teaching (study) or postoperative (control) group. Intervention for the study group included two preoperative visits in the community during which patients were taught with audiovisual aids to use and change the stoma pouching system. Goal-directed postoperative stoma education was standardized for both groups. Outcomes measured included time to stoma proficiency, postoperative hospital stay, unplanned stoma-related interventions in the community within six weeks of discharge, and preoperative and postoperative hospital anxiety and depression scores. Cost-effectiveness of the intervention was also evaluated.


All outcomes measured were improved in the study group, including time to stoma proficiency(5.5vs. 9 days;P= 0.0005), hospital stay (8vs. 10 days;P= 0.029), and unplanned stoma-related community interventions per patient (median 0vs. 0.5;P= 0.0309). No adverse effects of the intervention were noted. The average cost saving per patient was £1,119 ($2,104) for the study group compared with the control group.


Stoma education is more effective if undertaken in the preoperative setting. It results in shorter times to stoma proficiency and earlier discharge from the hospital. It also reduces stoma-related interventions in the community and has no adverse effects on patient well-being.

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