The aim of this study was to explore how living with an ostomy financially impacts Canadians.
A descriptive, pan-Canadian, cross-sectional online and paper-based survey was conducted using a convenience sample.
Surveys were completed by 467 individuals. Seventy-six percent (n = 355) reported spending more than $1000 annually on ostomy supplies, with 58% (n = 271) paying partially out of pocket. Atlantic regions relied primarily on insurance (n = 81), and the central, prairies, and western regions used a combination of funding (provincial government funding and/or insurance) (n = 385) with no significant out-of-pocket funding differences between regions (χ2 = 18.267, P = .079). Fifteen percent (n = 70) reported frequent peristomal skin problems, and 19% (n = 89) indicated that having an ostomy negatively affected their ability to work. When experiencing ostomy-related problems, 60% (n = 280) sought assistance from a nurse specialized in wound, ostomy, and continence (NSWOC) and spent significantly less on ostomy supplies (χ2 = 231.267, P < .001).
This study demonstrated that living with an ostomy may result in financial burden and that Canadian regional variations in funding and access to an NSWOC should be explored.