Colostomy Irrigation: Issues Most Important to Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses

Nancy J. Tallman, Martha D. Cobb, Marcia Grant, Christopher S. Wendel, Janice Colwell, Elizabeth Ercolano, Robert Krouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to describe issues that WOC nurses find most important related to colostomy irrigation (CI). DESIGN: This is an additional analysis of a study focusing on qualitative responses to a survey querying WOC nurses about CI practices. SUBJECTS AND SETTING: The target population was members of the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society. Of the 985 nurses who responded to the survey, 338 (34.3%) answered the optional open-ended question asking for additional comments. METHODS: A 1-time online survey was conducted. In addition to demographic, educational information, and forced-choice questions about CI, an open-ended question asked for any additional comments about their experience with irrigation and WOC practice. Content analysis was used to identify common themes identified by WOC nurses. RESULTS: Three hundred thirty-eight out of 985 WOC nurses (34.3%) answered the optional open-ended question asking for additional comments; analysis for this study is based on these responses. WOC nurses who responded to the open-ended question had similar characteristics to those who responded to the entire survey but were significantly more experienced (15.1 vs 11.0 years; P <.001). Multiple themes were identified that were related to forced-choice questions in the survey, such as equipment, lack of teaching time, and increased control, while several new themes emerged, including age-related recommendations, economic/ecologic benefits, cultural implications, and misconceptions of CI. CONCLUSION: Many WOC nurses feel that CI is a valued modality of ostomy care and should be reestablished, although dissenting opinions were expressed. Additional research to increase the evidence base for this procedure is needed. New opportunities to educate WOC nurses and other healthcare professionals and teach eligible patients irrigation techniques are recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-493
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 7 2015


  • cancer patients
  • colostomy irrigation
  • ostomy nurse attitudes
  • ostomy nurse knowledge
  • ostomy nurse practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


Dive into the research topics of 'Colostomy Irrigation: Issues Most Important to Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this