Institution of a Preoperative Stoma Education Group Class Decreases Rate of Peristomal Complications in New Stoma Patients

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The purpose of this study was to compare selected postoperative complications (including stomal and peristomal complications), hospital length of stay, and readmission rates in a group of patients who attended a preoperative educational intervention to a retrospective group of patients who did not receive the intervention.


Retrospective, comparison cohort study.


The intervention group comprised 124 patients who attended an educational session for persons with fecal ostomies at a single tertiary care center in the Northeastern United States. They were compared to findings from a group of 94 individuals who underwent ostomy surgery during a 1-year period before initiation of the class. Patients undergoing emergent procedures or who had previous stomas were excluded. We found no significant differences between the 2 cohorts with respect to age, gender, comorbidities, open versus minimally invasive procedures, or colorectal diagnoses.


A preoperative 2-hour stoma education class was led by certified WOC nurses for all patients undergoing colorectal surgeries in which the creation of a stoma was anticipated. This session included a didactic portion outlining postoperative expectations in the management of new ostomies (including dietary changes, prevention of dehydration, and an overview of ostomy supplies), as well as a hands-on portion to practice stoma care skills. We compared postoperative complications within 30 days (particularly stoma-related complications, including pouch leakage due to loss of seal, and peristomal skin irritation) between the group attending the education session and the control group. We also compared length of stay and 30-day readmission rates.


Patients who participated in the educational intervention experienced significantly fewer peristomal complications than did patients in the historic control group (44.7% vs 20.2%, P = .002). Logistic regression analysis revealed that participation in the group was associated with a lower likelihood of peristomal skin complications (odds ratio = 0.35; 95% confidence interval, 0.18-0.67). Their length of stay (median 6 days vs 5 days, P = NS), and the proportion who experienced 30-day readmission (20.2% vs 15.3%, P = NS), did not significantly differ.


A preoperative stoma education group class significantly reduced the likelihood of frequent leakage from the ostomy pouching system and peristomal skin irritation.

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