Graduation Year


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



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Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Donna J. Corley

Department Affiliation

Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing

Second Advisor

Shannon Shumaker

Department Affiliation

Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing


Approximately one million people in North America are living with an ostomy, and an additional 100,000 will undergo ostomy surgery annually. Persons living with ostomies, often referred to as ostomates, require specialized care and management to sustain physical health and quality of life. Fecal diversion ostomates, when compared to the general population, are more likely to experience psychological disturbance and higher levels of depression. These ostomates have reported increased loneliness, lowered self-esteem, decreased or absent libido, irritability, suicidal ideation, poor self-image, and symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder and social phobia. Being an ostomate has been associated with a reduction in health-related quality of life, increased social isolation, and disruption to work and travel patterns. The aim of this project was to translate existing evidence on psychosocial support groups to the ostomy patient population and explore the effect of ostomate-to-ostomate support on stomal adaptation. Ten ostomy participants provided demographic data and completed a 34-item ostomy adjustment scale, pre- and post-intervention, to measure acceptance of the stoma 90 days postoperatively. A paired sample t-test evaluated the influence of the ostomy support group on the participants’ ostomy adjustment scores. Participants’ mean ostomy adjustment score increased significantly from pre-intervention (125.6 + 27.27) to post-intervention (176.2 + 15.44), t (9) = -9.59, p = .000. The project findings suggest that use of the ostomy support group model improves psychosocial adaptation to stoma.

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)

University of Kentucky 17-0637-P3K