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Factors Affecting Closure of a Temporary Stoma

Taylor, Claire; Varma, Sarah

Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing: January/February 2012 - Volume 39 - Issue 1 - p 51–57
doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e3182383f1a

PURPOSE: The purpose of the study was to examine time to reversal of a temporary ostomy, reasons for delayed closure, and patient satisfaction with the scheduling of their closure and related hospital care.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional, descriptive study.

SUBJECTS AND SETTING: The target population comprised patients who underwent creation of a temporary ostomy and reversal surgery within one National Health System Hospital Trust in the United Kingdom. The population served by this Trust are ethnically and socioeconomically diverse, predominantly living in urban areas around Greater London. Sixty-one persons who met inclusion criteria were identified.

METHODS: A two-step analytical process was undertaken. First, a literature review examining incidence and causes of delayed stoma closure was undertaken. Second, a postal survey of all patients who had had their stoma closed in 2009 was conducted. Respondents were allowed 2 weeks to complete and return the questionnaire.

INSTRUMENT: The survey instrument was developed locally and subjected to content validation using ostomy patients, surgical and nursing colleagues. It consisted of 9 questions querying time from original surgery to closure, reasons for delaying closure surgery beyond 12 weeks, and satisfaction with care.

RESULTS: Twenty-seven patients returned their questionnaires, indicating they consented to participate; a response rate of 44%. Half of the respondents (n = 14 [52%]) underwent closure surgery within 6 months of stoma formation; the remaining 48% waited more than 6 months (median: 6.5 months, range: 1.5–26 months). Thirteen patients (48%) reported a delay in receiving their stoma closure; the main reason cited was the need for a course of adjuvant postoperative chemotherapy. Three quarters of respondents (22 [74%]) were satisfied with the overall care they received.

CONCLUSION: Findings from this study suggest that stoma closure may be associated with fewest complications if performed before 12 weeks.

Claire Taylor, PhD, Lecturer in Gastrointestinal Nursing Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery King's College London

Sarah Varma, BSc, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Stoma Care, St Mark's Hospital, Harrow, Middlesex.

Correspondence: Claire Taylor, PhD, Lecturer in GI Nursing, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King's College London, 57 Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8WA. (

The authors have declared no conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2012 by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society