Patient and healthcare professional perceptions of colostomy-related problems and their impact on quality of life following rectal cancer surgery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Colostomy Impact Score study group

External organisations

  • Colorectal Surgical Unit, Department of Surgery Mansoura University Hospital Mansoura Egypt.
  • Colorectal Surgical Unit, Department of Surgery Aarhus University Hospital Aarhus Denmark.
  • Academic Department of Surgery, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom Department of Colorectal Surgery, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, United Kingdom Academic Department of Surgery, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
  • Colorectal Surgery Department, Queen Elizabeth Hospital University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust Birmingham UK.


Background: The perception of colostomy-related problems and their impact on health-related quality of life (QoL) may differ between patients and healthcare professionals. The aim of this study was to investigate this using the Colostomy Impact Score (CIS) tool.

Methods: Healthcare professionals including consultant colorectal surgeons, stoma nurses, ward nurses, trainees and medical students were recruited. An online survey was designed. From the 17 items used to develop the CIS, participants chose the seven factors they thought to confer the strongest negative impact on the QoL of patients with a colostomy. They were then asked to rank the 12 responses made by patients to the final seven factors contained in the CIS. Results were compared with the original patient rankings at the time of development of the CIS.

Results: A total of 156 healthcare professionals (50·4 per cent of the pooled professionals) from 17 countries completed the survey. Of the original seven items in the CIS, six were above the threshold for random selection. Ranking the responses, a poor match between participants and the original score was detected for 49·7 per cent of the professionals. The most under-rated item originally present in the CIS was stool consistency, reported by 47 of the 156 professionals (30·1 per cent), whereas frequency of changing the stoma bag was the item not included in the CIS that was chosen most often by professionals (124, 79·5 per cent). Significant differences were not observed between different groups of professionals.

Conclusion: The perspective of colostomy-related problems differs between patients with a colostomy and healthcare professionals.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-344
Number of pages9
JournalBJGP Open
Issue number5
Early online date7 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018