It’s a confidence thing!…….. Exploring qualitative ostomy research results

Miss Angie Perrin1
1Salts Healthcare, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Aims – The aim of this study was to identify how people feel about living with a stoma and what factors affect confidence levels

Method  – Qualitative interviews were carried out amongst small cohorts of patients throughout the UK. These provided a wealth of data regarding the perceptions of individuals – how they felt about living with a stoma, what if any, problems do they experience, as well as their attitudes towards pouches including fabrics and colour choices.

Results – A significant number of patients felt confident regarding their stoma and its day-to-day management (86%). Reassuringly, 83% patients felt supported by their Stoma Care Nurse (SCN). Changes in attitudes towards life are most likely due to having a life threatening or debilitating illness rather than due to the stoma itself. However, there was also a handful of patients reported to feel isolated and do not like to leave the house (14%).

75% patients (mostly Female, young, ileostomists) were interested in colour options of pouches, the perceived benefits were identified to co-ordinate underwear and clothing making them feel more feminine and less conscious of potential leaks (in urostomists), especially on special occasions or during intimate moments.

Conclusion – The study highlights that a high proportion of patients are trying to get on with life as best they can, although many feel more people in society should be aware of stomas. They are grateful to be alive; fundamentally their stoma has greatly improved their quality of life, although for some there is a negative impact.


I am a Registered General Nurse (RGN) and I commenced my career within surgical nursing setting in 1990, then progressed into the specialist sphere of stoma care and colorectal nursing & attained the ENB 216 (specialist stoma care course).   I later undertook a BSc Hons (Colorectal pathway) to highlight my dedication and commitment to Stoma & Colorectal Nursing and worked as the Lead Nurse for Stoma and Colorectal cancer nursing services from 2002 in one of the largest UK teaching hospitals. Later I gained my nurse endoscopist certificate to enable me to proactively develop several nurse-led clinics.   I decided to enhance my professional development academically by acquiring an MSc Nurse Practitioner, which provided the foundations onto which I developed one of the first Nurse-led clinics within Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust and Nurse-led ileo-anal pouch clinic in the country to offer assessment and investigation. I was instrumental in developing the complete Colorectal Nursing service in Oxford to meet the ever-changing demands of patients and the health service itself.  I led policy development and implem

ented change at a local, national and international level within stoma care.  I have extensive specialist skills and knowledge of stoma care and colorectal nursing.

I currently work for Salts Healthcare as the Clinical Lead for Innovation, I lead a small team of Nurse specialists and we have the responsibility for offering expert clinical opinion on all new development projects initiated by Salts Healthcare, as well as implementing primary research and facilitating many other aspects of Research & Development.

I am also the current Vice Chairperson for the Association of Stoma Care Nurses (ASCN) for the UK.