The aim of this study was to evaluate health-related quality of life in patients with a colostomy immediately before and during the first year after surgery.
SUBJECTS AND SETTING:
Patients (aged ≥20 years) who were diagnosed with rectal cancer and scheduled to undergo curative surgery with a permanent colostomy were recruited for this study. Data were collected at 2 university hospitals in Tokyo.
Participants were asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire regarding health-related quality of life before surgery and a mailed or hand delivered questionnaire to evaluate quality of life at 2, 6, and 12 months after surgery using the Short Form–36 version 2. For patients who responded at all 4 time points, the scores at each time point were compared using paired t tests to examine longitudinal changes in quality of life after surgery.
Mean quality-of-life scores in most domains before surgery and during the first year after surgery were lower than the normal control in the norm-based scoring method. Scores at 2 months after surgery were lower than those before surgery. At 12 months after surgery, however, quality-of-life scores improved almost to the level observed before surgery, with the exception of the score in the social functioning domain. Statistical differences in scores between the time points of the survey were observed in the role-physical, bodily pain, and mental health domains.
These results suggest that patients with permanent colostomy after curative resection for rectal cancer need additional medical support and care before surgery and during the first year after surgery.