Purpose: An ostomy introduces to cancer survivors new demands for self-care and healthcare resource use. A curriculum that teaches ostomates self-management skills may affect survivors’ use of resources. Methods: A prospective randomized trial comparing usual care (UC) with an Ostomy Self-Management Training (OSMT) program delivered by telehealth was conducted in patients with ostomies due to cancer. The intervention occurred over 5 weeks with survey administration at baseline, program completion, and 6 months after completion. Quantitative data were analyzed using a mixed-effects logistic model to predict mean values of resource and service use. Responses to the open-ended question were coded and analyzed with directed content analysis. Results: One hundred and sixty-seven subjects (89 in the OSMT arm and 78 in the UC arm) completed the questionnaire at all time points. The changes in likelihoods of emptying one’s ostomy bag > 8 times/week and of incurring any out-of-pocket costs on accessories were 14% greater for the intervention group (p =.029 and p =.063, respectively). Qualitative analysis reveals among the OSMT arm an increase in the proportion of ostomy-specific comments and a decrease in the same metric among the UC arm. Common themes included learning to work with equipment, dealing with gas build-up and finding well-fitting clothing. Conclusions: There are some indications that participants in this structured telehealth program are more active in ostomy self-care. The reported ostomy self-care activities, healthcare consumables, and healthcare services reported by both groups illustrate the complexity of survivorship care following ostomy surgery. National Clinical Trial Identifier: NCT02974634.
- Burdens of care
- Cancer survivors with ostomies
- Telehealth program
ASJC Scopus subject areas