Ostomy telehealth for cancer survivors: Design of the Ostomy Self-management Training (OSMT) randomized trial

Virginia Sun, Elizabeth Ercolano, Ruth McCorkle, Marcia Grant, Christopher S. Wendel, Nancy J. Tallman, Frank Passero, Sabreen Raza, Zuleyha Cidav, Michael Holcomb, Ronald S. Weinstein, Mark C. Hornbrook, Robert S. Krouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Purpose An ostomy adversely affects health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in a diverse population of cancer survivors and their caregivers. Hit-or-miss ostomy care, nurse counseling, and community referral have been the primary modes of self-management education and support in the peri-operative setting. Few evidence-based, systematic ostomy self-management programs are available to ensure optimal post-operative care. This paper describes the study design of a telehealth-based Ostomy Self-management Training (OSMT) program for cancer survivors and their caregivers. Methods The study is a three-year, randomized trial that tests the effectiveness of the OSMT program on survivor activation, self-efficacy, and HRQOL. The intervention integrates goal setting and problem-solving approaches to enhance survivor activation and self-efficacy to carry out ostomy care. The curriculum is delivered via four group sessions administered by trained ostomy certified nurses (WOCNs) and peer ostomates. An additional session is offered to caregivers to address their needs in relation to ostomy care. Telehealth approaches through videoconferencing are used to enhance program delivery to participants in three different geographic areas across two time zones. Participants join sessions via real-time videoconferencing from their homes. Conclusions The OSMT program has high potential to make a positive impact on the unique physical, psychological, social, and spiritual needs of cancer survivors living with a permanent ostomy. The study design, process, and telehealth approach contributes to the success of future dissemination efforts of the intervention into diverse clinical and community settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-172
Number of pages6
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Cancer
  • Ostomy
  • Quality of life
  • Self-efficacy
  • Survivorship
  • Telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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