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Volume 13, Number 3, 2008

Quality of life assessment in patients with a stoma due to rectal cancer



AIM: The aim of the study was to assess the quality of life in patients with a stoma, created for
various reasons in the course of rectal cancer treatment.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study included 50 patients in the early post-surgery follow-up period, visiting the Stoma Outpatient Clinic in the Great Poland Centre in Poznań. All patients underwent surgery due to rectal cancer. Quality of life was assessed using anonymous questionnaires. Participation in the study was voluntary, and patients were informed about the proceedings. Standardized EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire for quality of life assessment in cancer patients and QLQ-CR38 module for colorectal cancer patients were used.
RESULTS: In all domains assessed, stoma patients showed signifi cant impairment of functioning, which negatively infl uenced their quality of life. In our study group scores in all functional scales (physical – 70.6, role – 71.0, emotional – 61.8, cognitive – 75.6, social – 65) differed significantly from the reference values for the healthy population. QLQ-CR38 questionnaire was used to assess which symptoms were most disturbing for the patients. Negative infl uence of stoma on sexual functioning in men (mostly erectile and ejaculation dysfunctions) turned out to be the most signifi cant (54.6). In women sexual dysfunctions were signifi cantly less expressed (26.8). Another large group of symptoms having an unquestionable infl uence on level of functioning comprised direct stoma-related symptoms
CONCLUSIONS: Creation of a stoma still has a large negative impact on patients’ quality of life. Influence of the stoma is most pronounced in the area of social functioning. In spite of improvement in support, the problems pertaining directly to the fact of having a stoma bag remain signifi cant for this group of patients.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2008; 13(3) : 130-134


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