Multidisciplinary Management of Altered Body Image in the Patient With an Ostomy

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Many clinical studies have found patients with ostomies to be a group facing multiple adjustment demands. One of these demands Is coping with a significant change In body Image. At the Medical College of Wisconsin, a team approach has been Initiated; the ET nurse, the psychologist, and the surgeon deal with body Image concerns together. Problems requiring counseling have Included difficulty with personal acceptance, personal and social body-Image disruption, sexual concerns, reduced self-care skills, and the management of surgical complications. This article represents a study employing a methology of selected case presentations. Cases were chosen to outline the types of problems encountered and were selected from referrals made for psychologic Intervention by the surgeon and ET nurse. The patients Included four women and three men, ranging In age from 22 to 79 years. Data were compiled by examining the records of the surgeon, ET nurse, and psychologist. The primary needs revolved around personal or social acceptance of altered body Image. By addressing these needs In a straightforward, time-limited manner, postsurgical counseling was delivered effectively for these patients. In conclusion, we have demonstrated the multidisciplinary approach to be successful In facilitating adaptation to an altered body image.

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