Problem

Stomas are formed for many reasons following bowel surgery. They can at times be life-saving and can improve the quality of life. However, some patients feel that clinicians may view stoma formation as a last resort or as a treatment failure which can have a negative impact on patients. It is important that patients do not feel stigmatised by the need for stoma formation. We will explore both patients’ and surgeons’ perceptions of communication of information about stomas and whether this has any impact on patients’ quality of life.

Methods

Patients who have had stomas formed and have agreed to take part in the study will be asked to complete a short structured questionnaire on their opinions regarding communication of the need for stoma formation and related issues and regarding quality of life. In parallel, we will also ask a group of surgeons on their opinion of stoma formation and communication of information regarding stomas. We will summarise received responses and assess for impact on quality of life of patients living with stomas.

Results of this research

This research will identify how communication regarding stoma information is handled and allow vital feedback to clinical teams in order to improve communication around this important issue and thus improve outcomes for patients and aid in developing communication training.

Further plans

Any future work looking to enhance communication will be conducted with extensive PPI input to ensure patients views are represented and incorporated.