The purpose of this study was to describe the practice of 796 ostomy nurses in North America in 2014 related to peristomal skin issues.DESIGN:
Descriptive study.SUBJECTS AND SETTING:
Participants were 796 wound, ostomy, and continence (WOC) and enterostomal therapy (ET) nurses currently practicing in the United States or Canada and caring for patients with ostomies. The collection of data occurred in conjunction with an educational program on peristomal skin complications and practice issues and solicited the participant's perception on the incidence and frequency of peristomal skin issues as well as on practice patterns.METHODS:
Participants attended an educational program. They were also asked to anonymously respond to multiple-choice questions on ostomy care management via an audience response system followed by discussion of each item and their responses. This descriptive study reports on the answers to the questions as well as the pertinent discussion points.RESULTS:
Participants estimated that approximately 77.70% of their patients developed peristomal skin issues. The most commonly encountered problem was irritant contact dermatitis (peristomal moisture-associated skin damage). Contributing factors were inappropriate use of a pouching system owing to lack of follow-up after hospital discharge. Reported interventions for the prevention and management of peristomal skin issues included preoperative stoma site marking, use of a convex pouching system, and barrier rings. However, subsequent discussion revealed that the frequency of use of these products varied considerably. Participants identified shortened hospital stays, absence of preoperative stoma marking, and limited outpatient follow-up as contributing to development of peristomal skin problems.CONCLUSION:
WOC and ET nurses estimate that more than three-quarters of persons living with an ostomy develop peristomal skin problems. Multiple interventions for managing these problems were identified, but some variability in management approaches emerged.