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Self-disclosing My Ostomy to the Dominant Culture: An Autoethnography

Frohlich, Dennis Owen

Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing: November/December 2012 - Volume 39 - Issue 6 - p 627–631
doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e31826a4b83
Ostomy Care

Living with an ostomy is a major change to a person's body and poses difficult questions about how to disclose personal medical information to others. This autoethnography examines my time with an ostomy through the lens of co-cultural theory and sheds light on how people with ostomies communicate with the dominant culture, in this case people without ostomies. I discuss how my communication goals and approaches evolved over time.

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Dennis Owen Frohlich, MS, College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida, Gainesville.

Correspondence: Dennis Owen Frohlich, MS, Division of Graduate Studies, College of JM/COM, University of Florida, PO Box 118400, Gainesville, FL 32611 (

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

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