Publication Details

Lapkin, S., Levido, D., Palesy, D., Mamo, A., Perez, M., Dutchak, D. & Fernandez, R. (2018). What's the plan?: Supporting individualised care for hospitalised patients with stomas. Journal of Stomal Therapy Australia, 38 (2), 12-18.


Background: Nurses play a pivotal role in providing nursing care and ongoing support to assist patients in adapting to a normal life with a stoma. While stomal therapy nurses have high levels of clinical expertise, little is known about ward nurses' experiences and understanding of their role in caring for patients with a stoma. Aim: To explore ward nurses' understanding of their role in caring for patients with a stoma. Methodology: One face-to-face focus group interview was conducted with nurses (n=6) from the colorectal ward in a large metropolitan hospital. Data analysis was undertaken using a general inductive approach. Findings: Two main categories and 13 themes emerged from the focus group data. Participants reported a lack of stomal therapy nursing knowledge and skills, and they strongly advocated for a documented, multidisciplinary, individualised care plan for the patient with a stoma. Conclusion: The findings from this study can be used to inform the development of strategies to support regular in-service training programs for nurses and to guide the implementation of individualised plans for stoma care. Further research is warranted to investigate how these approaches can be translated into clinical practice to improve the outcomes for patients with a stoma.