The creation of a stoma is a life-saving surgical procedure that requires major adjustments.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the relationships among family functioning, perceived social support, and adaptation to living with a stoma.
Method: A descriptive, cross-sectional survey was conducted between October 2013 and June 2015 among consecutive patients who visited the stomatherapy unit of a university hospital in Ankara, Turkey, for regular follow-up visits. Eligibility criteria stipulated participants must be at least 18 years of age, literate, live with family, have their stoma for at least 2 months, and be willing to participate. Instruments included a demographic and stoma-related information form, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS; subscale range 4-28, total score range 12-84; higher scores indicate better perceived support), the McMaster Family Assessment Scale (FAS; range 1.32-3.15; higher scores indicate deteriorating family function), and the Ostomy Adjustment Inventory Scale-23 (OAI-23; range 19-85; higher scores indicate increasing adaptation). Data were entered into statistical software for analysis that included descriptive statistics and Mann-Whitney U and Spearman correlation tests.
Results: Among the 75 participants (mean age 55.4 ± 12.96 years; average stoma duration 3.77 ± 4.97 years), 41 (54.7%) were male, 59 (78.7%) were married, and mean duration of living with a stoma was 3.77 ± 4.97 years. The average MSPSS score was 61.0 5 ± 15.00, the average FAS score was 1.98 ± 0.38, and the average OAI-23 score was 49.39 ± 14.62, all within the "moderate" range for their measures. Stoma complications, time since surgery, stoma self-care, marital status, whether the surgery was planned or an emergency, and employment status significantly affected MSPSS, FAS, and OAI-23 scores. As the FAS scores increased, the MSPSS (r = -.399; P = .001), and OAI-23 (r = -.300; P = .009) scores decreased.
Conclusion: The results suggest wound, ostomy, continence nurses should assess and encourage familial and social support. Prospective studies examining the effect of familial and social support on stoma adjustment are warranted.