Main Article Content
The objective of the study was to describe the quality of life of adult persons living after
a colostomy, using the published literature. A review of the literature from December 2010 to May 2016 was
done using the Proquest, EBSCOHOST, Science Direct, and Gale search engines. The keywords used were
quality of life, colorectal cancer, colostomy, and nursing care. The search yielded 105 articles. However,
upon careful reading of the abstracts, only 80 articles were found to focus on the subject of quality of life
of persons living with a colostomy. Of these 80 articles, 21 were available as full-text, and only 11 provided
significant information regarding the quality of life and experiences of adult persons living after colostomies.
The literature varied from qualitative and quantitative research studies revealing the following
significant themes: physical and psychological problems, altered social and family relationships, inability
to maintain religious activities, economic challenges, nutritional issues, limited physical activity and sexual
functioning, complications with the stoma, self-care and comprehensive health care problems.
The quality of life of adult persons who are living after a colostomy is critically significant. The
procedure impacts the health and well-being of these persons. Among groups of patients, those who had
colostomies were found to be most vulnerable to societal ostracism, even though they can live long, healthy,
and prosperous lives. It is important that nurses today understand and appreciate the difference in the quality
of life of persons living after colostomies and then plan the most appropriate care for these persons to
improve their health.