Adjustment to an Ostomy: An Integrative Literature Review

Publication Name

Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing


This integrative literature review summarizes recent literature relating to patient adjustment to stoma. The search strategy included 5 databases (CINAHL Plus, PsychINFO, Web of Science, Scopus, and MEDLINE); 65 articles meeting criteria were retrieved. Eleven were removed as duplicates, and a further 29 were removed when read in full, yielding 25 elements. Three were randomized controlled trials; 2 were prospective descriptive studies; 15 were cross-sectional descriptive studies; and 5 were qualitative studies. The quality of studies was evaluated using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT). The calculated mean quality score was 97%, and no studies were excluded on quality grounds. Limited evidence suggests that adjustment occurs over time and provides some insight concerning how rehabilitation leads to resumption of an altered normality. Some evidence suggests that long-term adjustment is associated with demographic and pre- and postoperative factors. A knowledge gap was identified regarding the role of support groups, which in other fields has been shown to positively benefit psychological well-being. This review revealed a paucity of interventional studies seeking to test ways to address adjustment-related problems. Longitudinal studies are recommended as ostomy care nurses work to facilitate adjustment in the person with a stoma over time.

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