J. Y. R.TAN1, L. TAN1, S. K. MANTOO1
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital1
Creation of a stoma is a life changing event. It may be difficult to know the real feelings of patients with stomas using traditional research methods. Aim of this pilot study was to describe patient experiences of coping with daily life emotionally, and financially after stoma creation using a smart device based electronic platform.
Form.gov.sg electronic platform was used to create a 36-step questionnaire encompassing questions on finances, interpersonal relations, psychological and general wellbeing. Patients with ileostomes and colostomies for more than 3 months were recruited, and the questionnaire was made accessible via a QR-code.
Total of 21 patients were recruited, with 20 colostomies and 1 ileostomy. Most patients did not cope well psychologically with 76% (16/21) patients having an average psychological score of >3 but only 38% (8/21) had an average score of >3 for questions relating to social interactions. 33.3% (7/21) of patients left or lost their job after having a stoma and 85% (18/21) of patients indicated hopes for greater financial assistance for stoma expenditure. 66.6% (14/21) of patients spent > S$150/month on stoma care and products and a similar number (66.6%) felt burdened by the cost of stoma care.
Living with stoma poses many concerns for patients which may be difficult to express. Electronic platforms may allow patients to express their concerns more freely and accurately. Most patients in this pilot study expressed concerns related to financial burden and psychological impact. This pilot study can set stage for larger electronic platform-based studies.