The creation of an ostomy provokes an emotional crisis for its recipient. The ostomy patient typically experiences a wide range of emotions and often feels a profound sense of isolation. Although health care professionals are able to provide substantial education and training, the patient usually requires additional knowledge and experience to manage and cope with the ostomy on a day-to-day basis. An ostomy support group can provide this much-needed information and emotional support. The WOC nurse can serve a vital role as facilitator for the ostomy support group. To fulfill this role, an understanding of key issues in promoting and maintaining a successful support group is necessary. These issues include understanding the role of the support group and how it differs from the self-help group, marketing the group, acting as a group facilitator, recognizing leadership resources within the group, and evaluating its effectiveness.
Reprint requests: Stephanie Mowdy, RN, RR1 Box 572A, Ada, OK 74820.
Copyright © 1998 by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society