Background: A colostomy can negatively impact patients’ quality of life. Recent research findings suggest that self-efficacy and psychosocial adjustment are positively associated with quality of life, but there are few research reports about the self-efficacy and psychosocial adjustment of patients with a permanent colostomy.
Objectives: The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of a 3-week Expert Patient Program (EPP) on colostomy knowledge, stoma care self-efficacy, self-management, and psychosocial adjustment in Chinese patients who had a permanent colostomy.
Methods: Eleven patients with permanent colostomy volunteered to be trained to be expert patients. Eighty-one patients with permanent colostomy were recruited and participated in the 3-week EPP courses. Questionnaires with items about knowledge on colostomy, stoma care self efficacy, self-management, and psychosocial adjustment were administered before and at 4 weeks following the EPP courses. Each EPP participant also completed a verbal interview at the end of the program.
Results: The EPP participants demonstrated statistically significant improvement (P < .01) in knowledge, self-efficacy, self-management, and psychosocial adjustment to colostomy (mean [SD]: 51.89 [11.45] vs 89.22 [19.90], 71.56 [5.93] vs 85.61 [14.32], 125.44 [19.27] vs 140.78 [15.34], 47.59 [9.64] vs 53.37 [10.68], respectively). Most participants gave positive ratings to the EPP.
Conclusions: This study showed that the EPP was applied effectively in patients with permanent colostomy.
Implications for Practice: This study highlights the importance of psychosocial support for patients with permanent colostomy. It offers a model of self-help practice in colostomy patients, supported by community that can benefit more patients with permanent colostomy.