Family Functioning, Perceived Social Support, and Adaptation to a Stoma: A Descriptive, Cross-sectional Survey

Wound Manag Prev. 2020 Jan;66(1):30-38.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Perception*
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Social Support*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surgical Stomas / adverse effects
  • Surgical Stomas / standards*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Turkey