Impact of ostomy upon the spouse
Kobza, Laura L.
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The needs of the patient undergoing ostomy surgery are both physical and psychological in nature. Rehabilitation is often long term extending beyond the acute care setting into home life. The spouse has been cited as being the most significant person in the ostomy patient's adaptation. Spouse reaction to the ostomy is a major factor in the patient's response and can often be the determinant of a successful or unsuccessful recovery. Despite the fact that the spouse occupies such a key position, relatively little has been done to determine the impact of ostomy upon the spouse. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to survey the expressed needs of the spouse of the ostomy patient. Twenty spouses, nine male, eleven female, were interviewed regarding their adjustment after their mates' ostomy surgery. Semi-structured, open-ended questions were used as a guide by the researcher during the interview. Responses to the interview questions were analyzed according to pre-established need categories. Data was then further analyzed by the characteristics of age, sex, income source, and length of marriage. Based upon spouse response to the amount of information received, lifestyle change, and the presence or lack of support, the predominantly expressed needs of these spouses were those of information, support, and follow-up. Since these needs were determined to be only partially met, recommendations for greater nursing involvement in both the acute care setting and in the community were presented. Recommendations for future research were also suggested.