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Print version ISSN 1657-5997On-line version ISSN 2027-5374

Aquichan vol.22 no.1 Bogotá Jan./Mar. 2022  Epub Jan 26, 2022 


Nursing Interventions to Promote Self-Care in a Candidate for a Bowel Elimination Ostomy: Scoping Review

Intervenciones de enfermería para promover el autocuidado en un candidato a ostomía de eliminación intestinal

Intervenções de enfermagem para promover o autocuidado num candidato à estomia intestinal de eliminação

Igor Emanuel Soares-Pinto 1

Sílvia Maria Moreira Queirós 2

Paulo Jorge Pereira Alves 3

Tânia Manuel Sousa Carvalho 4

Célia Samarina Vilaça de Brito Santos 5

Maria Alice Correia de Brito 6

1 Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal.

2 Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal.

3 Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal.

4 Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal.

5 Escola Superior de Enfermagem do Porto, Portugal.

6 Escola Superior de Enfermagem do Porto, Portugal.



To identify nursing interventions, their characteristics, and outcomes for promoting self-care in candidates for a bowel elimination ostomy.

Materials and methods:

A scoping review was carried out based on the Joanna Briggs Institute's recommendations. For this, studies published in Portuguese, English, and Spanish on the Web of Science, CINAHL, and Scopus databases and without a time limit were selected on November 9, 2020.


Of 2248 articles identified, 41 were included in this review. We identified 20 nursing interventions associated with the self-care of patients with an ostomy; most of them have gaps in their content, method, and frequency or dosing. More than 30 indicators were identified to assess the impact of nursing interventions; however, most of them were indirect assessments.


There is scarce evidence regarding the different aspects that must be involved in nursing interventions for patients with a stoma. Moreover, there is no standardization in methods, frequency, or dosing of intervention. It is urgent to define the content, method, and frequency of nursing interventions necessary to promote self-care in patients with a bowel elimination ostomy and to use assessment tools that directly measure stoma self-care competence.

Keywords (Source DeCS): Nursing care; evidence-based practice; self-care; ostomy; patient education as topic



identificar las intervenciones de enfermería, sus características y resultados para promover el autocuidado en candidatos a estoma de eliminación intestinal.

Materiales y métodos:

se llevó a cabo una revisión de alcance con base en las recomendaciones del Instituto Joanna Briggs. Para este fin, se seleccionaron estudios publicados en portugués, inglés y español en las bases de datos Web of Science, CINAHL y Scopus al 9 de noviembre de 2020.


de un total de 2248 artículos identificados, se incluyeron 41 en esta revisión. Se identificaron 20 intervenciones de enfermería asociadas al autocuidado de pacientes con ostomía; la mayoría tiene lagunas en su contenido, método y frecuencia o dosis. Se identificaron más de treinta indicadores para evaluar el impacto de las intervenciones de enfermería; sin embargo, la mayoría de ellas fueron evaluaciones indirectas.


es escasa la evidencia sobre los diferentes aspectos que deben considerarse en las intervenciones de enfermería para pacientes con estoma. Además, no existe una estandarización en los métodos, la frecuencia o la dosis de intervención. Es urgente definir el contenido, el método y la frecuencia de las intervenciones de enfermería necesarias para promover el autocuidado en pacientes con estoma de eliminación intestinal y utilizar herramientas de evaluación que midan directamente ese autocuidado.

Palabras clave (Fuente DeCS): Atención de enfermería; práctica clínica basada en la evidencia; autocuidado; estomía; educación del paciente como asunto



identificar as intervenções de enfermagem, suas características e resultados para promover o autocuidado em candidatos à estomia intestinal de eliminação.

Materiais e métodos:

foi realizada uma revisão de escopo com base nas recomendações do Instituto Joanna Briggs. Para isso, foram selecionados estudos publicados em português, inglês e espanhol nas bases de dados Web of Science, CINAHL e Scopus de 9 de novembro de 2020.


de 2 248 artigos identificados, foram incluídos 41 nesta revisão. Foram identificadas 20 intervenções de enfermagem associadas ao autocuidado de pacientes com estomia; a maioria tem lacunas em seu conteúdo, método e frequência ou dose. Foram identificados mais de 30 indicadores para avaliar o impacto das intervenções de enfermagem; contudo, a maioria delas foi avaliação indireta.


é escassa a evidência sobre os diferentes aspectos que devem ser considerados nas intervenções de enfermagem para pacientes com estomia. Além disso, não há um padrão nos métodos, na frequência ou na dose de intervenção. É urgente definir o conteúdo, o método e a frequência das intervenções de enfermagem necessárias para promover o autocuidado em pacientes com estomia intestinal de eliminação e utilizar ferramentas de avaliação que meçam diretamente esse autocuidado.

Palavras-chave (Fonte DeCS): Cuidados de enfermagem; prática clínica baseada em evidências; autocuidado; estomia; educação de pacientes como assunto


The word ostomy derives from the Greek "stoma" and means "mouth" or opening, being understood as a surgical communication between an internal organ (intestinal or urinary) and the body surface 1. A bowel elimination ostomy is the exteriorization of a part of the intestine through the abdominal wall as an artificial outlet for feces, constructed from the mucous lining of the intestine 2.

Worldwide, about one million people annually undergo ostomy surgery 3. This number is expected to increase, given that the most likely diagnosis for a bowel elimination ostomy is colorectal cancer 4. Currently, colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer worldwide, with more than 1.9 million new cases per year 5, whose incidence is predicted to grow by 60 % as of 2040, with more than 3 million new cases per year 6.

A stoma construction is a life-changing event. While this surgery can have several positive effects, such as reducing symptoms and improving health, it can also adversely affect the person 7 physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. It may represent a potential threat to all aspects of the lives of people who must not only learn how to manage stoma care but also incorporate it in their daily lives 7-10. How this event is experienced is conditioned by several factors, including stoma care competence 1,3,11.

Considering the various factors associated with the acceptance process and its impact on quality of life, literature was identified 12-14 sustaining that a systematic and complete care approach by a nurse from the preoperative phase to follow-up after hospital discharge significantly impacts these factors. In addition, the entire perioper-ative approach improves life quality, reduces health costs 7,15, and has a positive effect on the life of the person with an ostomy 13.

The nurse must give the right information to the right person at the right time to reduce some concerns expressed by the person/patient submitted to ostomy construction, being responsible for recognizing and responding to the educational needs of each one 16. Furthermore, the nurse plays an important supporting role for patients facing changes and their impact. These interventions help the person return to their previous life as soon as possible 7.

In an early stage of the educational process, the goal for the person undergoing a stoma surgery is to develop autonomy and selfcare, increasing their quality of life and achieving competence in all aspects of their self-care 17. Perioperative education is a key component in approaching a person with a stoma; however, evidence is lacking to support improved outcomes. It is crucial to carry out more in-depth studies using rigorous models to design a viable educational intervention that improves patient care and outcomes 15,18.

Implementing intervention programs for the person with a bowel elimination ostomy, considering the different moments of nurse intervention, enhances the management of stoma care, emphasizing adaptation, problem-solving, self-efficacy, cognitive reformulation, and goal definition 19. The present review aims to know the nursing interventions promoting stoma self-care and their characteristics for candidates for a bowel elimination ostomy, from the preoperative phase to follow-up after hospital discharge. It also intends to explore the outcomes used to assess the impact of those interventions.

Materials and methods

A scoping review of the scientific literature was carried out following the methodology of Joanna Briggs Institute 20 and the guidelines established by the PRISMA model (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses). For the research structuring and execution, a protocol was developed with information regarding the objectives of this review. The topics are the population to be included in the research, the formulation of the research question, the eligibility criteria, the strategy, and databases used to obtain the relevant information, the definition of topics for data extraction, and how the data would be condensed.

The definition of the starting question followed the strategic parameters P (Population), C (Concept), and C (Context), with the research being guided by the following questions:

  • What are the nursing interventions for promoting stoma self-care, from the perioperative period to follow-up after hospital discharge, for a candidate to a bowel elimination ostomy?

  • What are the outcomes used to assess nursing interventions to promote bowel elimination ostomy self-care?

Firstly, a preliminary search for possible similar studies was carried out in the CINAHL database in August 2019. Secondly, we conducted another search on the Web of Science, CINAHL Complete, and Scopus databases on September 4, 2019, using combinations based on MeSH, Cinahl Headings, and natural language, as shown in Table 1. Given the time elapsed from research completion to the conclusion of article analysis, new research was carried out on November 9, 2020.

Table 1 Bibliographic research strategies 

Web of Science CINAHL Complete Scopus
(* stom * NOT tracheostom * NOT cystostom * NOT urostom *) AND ("model of care" OR "care model" OR model * OR "patient * education" OR "centered care" OR discharge *) AND nurs * (* stom * NOT tracheostom * NOT cistostom * NOT urostom *) AND ("model of care" OR "care model" OR model * OR "patient * education" OR "centered care" OR discharge *) AND nurs * (* stom * AND NOT tracheostom * AND NOT cystostom * AND NOT urostom *) AND ("model of care" OR "care model" OR model * OR "patient * education" OR "centered care" OR discharge *) AND nurs *

Source: Own elaboration

The selection criteria for the articles were: studies that included people referred to or with a bowel elimination ostomy, either permanent or temporary, aged 18 years or older, and with a potential for regaining autonomy; addressed nursing interventions to promote stoma self-care; in in the preoperative, postoperative, or post-hospital contexts; were primary or secondary studies, qualitative or quantitative, published in Portuguese, English or Spanish, with no time limit.

The research carried out in the databases was loaded and grouped in the ZOTERO software 21, and the duplicates were removed. Two researchers independently conducted the search in databases and the analysis and selection of the articles. In the case of disagreement on the inclusion of any article, a third researcher was consulted.

The title and abstract of the identified studies were evaluated in the first phase based on the pre-established eligibility criteria. Posteriorly, all articles included in the first phase were submitted to the analysis process after full reading. Figure 1 highlights the process of identifying and selecting the articles included in the review.

Source: Prisma - Flowchart for scoping review (adapted) 22

Figure 1 Search and study selection process - PRISMA Diagram flow 

Finally, two independent reviewers extracted data using the data extraction tool developed by the authors for this purpose according to the following aspects: year of publication; country where the research was carried out; objective of the research; type of study; methodological approach; nursing interventions, as well as the content, method, and dosing of interventions. Since this review does not collect deeply personal, sensitive, or conidential information from participants and uses documents accessible to the public as evidence, it does not require approval of an ethics committee.


Of 2248 articles identified, 41 were included in the scoping review, with publication dates from 2004 to 2020: 24 % 10 in 2020, 19.5 % 8 in 2019, 17 °% 7 in 2012, and 12.2 <% 5 in 2018.

Regarding the type of study, the majority are experimental 14 and quasi-experimental studies 6, followed by literature reviews without a defined method 10, systematic literature reviews 3, cohort studies 3, economic analysis 1, and mixed and qualitative studies 4.

The 41 included studies cover a population spread over 13 countries from five different continents: China (5 °%), Thailand (5 °%), Taiwan (7 °%), Singapore (2 °%), Turkey (2 °%), Iran (2 °%), Brazil (2 °%), United States of America (24 °%), United Kingdom (22 °%), Norway (2 °%), Sweden (2 °%), Spain (2 °%), and Australia (2 °%).

All analyzed articles refer to nursing interventions in promoting self-care in a candidate for or a person with a bowel elimination ostomy. Some articles analyze the impact of nursing interventions on different indicators.

Considering the elements that underlie the design of a nursing intervention 22, and to facilitate the reading and analysis of the references included in this review, Table 2 shows the interventions identified, as well as the content, method of administration, and dosing of each intervention, including amount, frequency, and duration. The syntax of interventions was adjusted to the Classification of Interventions for Nursing Practice (CIPE), version 2019, as it is an international language used to document nursing care.

Table 2 Nursing interventions to promote stoma self-care in a candidate for a bowel elimination ostomy 

Intervention Time Content Method Dosing (quantity / frequency /duration) and moment
Performing the stoma location site 9,16,23-28 Preoperative Justifying and explaining to the user the choice of the stoma site 16,26 Face to face 26,27 One session 26 On the day of admission to the hospital (23,28)
Encouraging the manipulation of ostomy devices 25 Preoperative -- -- --
Promoting interaction with people with a bowel elimination ostomy 25 Preoperative -- -- --
Assessing the potential for stoma self-care 29 Postoperative -hospitalization Assessing the presence of co-morbidities or psychomotor deficits that condition the capacity for self-care (arthritis, paralysis, fatigue, visual problems) 29
Informing about resources 9,25,27-34 Preoperative Information about nurses who follow up from the preoperative period until after hospital discharge 16,27 Information on national associations of people with an ostomy 28 Support groups 9 Stomatherapist nurse contact 16 Face to face 27 Two sessions 28 A session on the day of admission 28 ------------ 45 to 60 minutes 28
Postoperative -hospitalization Providing support contacts 30,31,35 Informing about available resources 35: - Groups of ostomized users 31 - Smartphone application 31 - Purchase of devices 25,29 - Support to manage problems / complications 25,29,34 - Follow-up after discharge by a stoma nurse 16 Face to face 30 At discharge 31
After hospital discharge Informing about available resources 25,32: - Support groups 25 - Programs developed by the industry 25 - Telephone contact 32-34 - 24-hour support 34 - Stomatherapy consultation 32 - Stoma clinic 32 - Contact with people with an ostomy32 - Association of people with an ostomy 32 - Mobile applications 33 - Internet pages 16,33 - Tailored clothing companies 16 Telephone contact 34 Home visits 34 --
Teaching about bowel elimination ostomy 16,23-28,30,31,36-41 Preoperative Teaching about the stoma formation process 10,23,25,28,30,31: - Anatomy - Stoma physiology Teaching about ostomy 16: - Location of the stoma 25,26,36 - Clinical indications 23-25 - Duration (temporary / definitive condition) 30,36 - Type of stoma and its function 10,23,25,26,30,36-38) - Type of effluent and frequency of operation 16,25,36,37 - Production of gases and odor 36 Face to face - home 23 Face to face - hospital 23,30,31 Face to face 25 Expository method 31 Use of digital media (videos or animated images) 25 Imagery 28 Use of written material 10,23,25,26,28,31,38 Information leaflet 10,30 Use of a model 23,36 or the candidate to a stoma 36 Use of ostomy devices 30 Two sessions 23, 28), which can be at home 23 A session on the day of admission to the hospital 23,28----------------- 30 to 90 minutes 23,26,28,36,38
Postoperative -hospitalization Teaching about the stoma formation process 10,24,25,40: - Anatomy 24,25,40 - Physiology 24,25,40 - Instructions for training 24,25,40 Teaching about recording the ileostomy outputs and calculating the input and output balance 39 Face to face 40 Use of written material 39-41 - Information leaflet 10,40 with illustrated instructions 40 Expository and demonstrative method 39 Use of material in digital support -2D animations, films, photos 40 Additional educational resources - written instructions or links to websites 42 One session 27 Two sessions 40------------------ 30 to 40 minutes 40
Teaching bowel elimination ostomy self-care 7,16,23,25,27-29,31-33,35,40-51 Preoperative Showing ostomy devices indicated for the stoma 16,23,28 Teaching / showing how to put plate and bag, how to change / empty ostomy bag 10,16,23,25,26,28,30,31,33,36-38,41 Stoma cleaning 41 Impact / Adaptation to previous lifestyle 16: - Possible impact of a stoma on relationships 16,28 - Impact on sexuality 16,28 - Impact on daily life activities 28 - Job 16 - Clothing changes 26 - Changes in hygiene 26,28 - Changes in recreational activities 26 - Exercise and sports 16 - Travel 16 - Diet 16,51 Face to face 24,41: - Home 23 - Hospital 23 Use of digital media - videos 33,51 or animated images 25 Use of written material 10,16,23,25,26,28,30,31,33,38,51 Use of a model 23,36 or of the candidate to a stoma 36 Recourse to ostomy devices 26,28,30 Two sessions 23 One session on the day of hospital admission 23,28,52 24 h before hospital admission 33 30 to 90 minutes 23,28,36,38
Postoperative -hospitalization Defining goals to be achieved with the user 16 - Selection of the ostomy device 16,31 - Organizational advice and strategies to facilitate self-care 29,30,35,42 - Device removal and application procedure (10, 16,24, 27-29, 35,40-42,44-50 - Useful accessories for stoma self-care 24,31, 42, 46) Possible implications / need for adaptation24,25: - Hygiene 26 / Taking a bath 29,42 - Clothing 24,26,27 - Daily life activities 24,27,29,31,33,42,45 - Recreational activities 26,27,29,42 - Sexuality 24,27,29 - Job 27 - Travel 27 - Dietary regime 33,35,42,45,46 - Exercise regime 29,42 - Medication regime 24,27,42 - Intestinal irrigation procedure 42 Monitoring of intestinal elimination 35,51 Face to face 27,31,40,42,44,47 Use of written material 10,16,37,39-41,45,47,51 - information leaflet with illustrated instructions 40 Use of digital media 40, 45) - 2D animations, movies and photos 40,49, DVD / video 45,49 Additional educational resources - written instructions or links to websites 42 Use of an ostomy simulator 50 Starting as soon as possible after surgery 23,37,42, even on the day of surgery 37 or the first postoperative day 16,28,40,47 At least one 27, two 38,40, or four sessions 50 Daily sessions 16,28,51 Two days before discharge 41 At discharge 31,45 30, 40, 45 or 50 minutes 38,40,47,49 Maximum one hour 45
After hospital discharge Addressing device removal and application procedure 32,33,46 Addressing device selection 32 Where to buy devices 16 Ostomy accessories 7 Possible implications / need for adaptation: - Sexuality 16,27 - Job 16 - Exercise 16 - Diet 16 - Travel 16 - Clothing 16 Impact / Adaptation to lifestyle 7 Face to face 27,46 Home visits 7,48 Using the mobile app (WeChat) 46 Use of written material 7,33 Once a month 7,46 for six months 7 Once a week 7,48 for six months 7
Teaching about bowel elimination ostomy complications 7,25,29,31,32,35,41,42,45,46,51 Preoperative Teaching about complications: - Dehydration 25,51, intestinal occlusion 25, changes in stoma and peristomal skin 25, peristomal hernia 25 - Recognizing changes that require examination by a health professional (51) Face to face 25: Face-to-face at home 23 Use of digital media - videos 25, 51) or animated images 25 Use of written material 23,25,26,38,51 Using a model 23,36 or the candidate for a stoma 36 30 to 90 minutes 23,36,38
Postoperative -hospitalization - Stoma and skin assessment 10,42 - What to do when complications occur and how to avoid them 42 - Recognizing changes that require examination by a health professional 29,42 - Skin erythema, mucocutaneous dehiscence, change in stoma color from red to dark brown or black, changes in stoma height such as prolapse or hernia (29,42, persistent leaks and ulcers 29 - In ileostomy, the volume production of more than 1,000 42 or 1, 200 ml 35 in 24 hours is considered high, and less than 500 ml in 24 hours too low 35 - Dehydration 35 Face to face 42 Use of digital media - DVD / video 45 Use of written material - leaflet 10 Starting as early as possible after surgery42 More than one session 42 Three sessions 45 Two days before discharge 41 One hour 45
After hospital discharge - Risk of dehydration 25 - Identifying if the wear time of the device is shorter than expec ted 25 Stoma complications 7: - Signs and symptoms of obstruction 25 - Change in stoma size 32 - Stoma bleeding 32 - Diarrhea 32 - Constipation 32 Peristomal skin complications 25: - Peristomal hernia 25 - Dermatitis of peristomal skin 32 Prevention of complications 7,46) Face to face 25 Home visit 7 Use of mobile application (WeChat) 46 Use of written material 7 Once a month for six months after discharge 7
Preoperative Demonstration of application, emptying, and how to change the effluent collection device, one or two pieces according to the type of stoma 23-26,28,36 Face to face 23-26,36 Face to face at home 23 Use of a model 23 Recourse to ostomy devices 28 Two sessions 28 at home 23 One session on the day of hospital admission 23 45 to 60 minute sessions 23,28
Instructing on bowel elimination ostomy self-care 24-26,28,31,36,40,41, 45, 50, 53) Postoperative -hospitalization Procedure for removal, hygiene, and application of the device 50 Goals defined for each postoperative day, centered on the ostomy device exchange procedure: - On first day after the op, the user observes the stoma 25 and stoma care 23-25,37-40) (29 and participates in dumping the bag and cutting out the plate for the following exchange 23,25,37,45. - On the 2nd post-op day, the user must autonomously change the ostomy bag 23,25,37, remove the device with help, clean stoma and skin, and cut the plate 23,37 - The user's involvement progressively increases until the device is removed, the stoma and skin are cleaned and dried, and a new device is inserted, ending the procedure with cutting the plate for the next exchange 23-25, 37) Face to face 30,42) Expository and demonstration method 45 Use of digital media - DVD / video 45 Use of an ostomy simulator 50 Starting as early as possible after surgery 42, e.g., first postoperative day 30 More than one session 42 or program based on user needs 30 Two days before discharge 41 Three sessions 45 or four sessions 50 One hour 45
After hospital discharge Face to face 53) Home visits 53 Use of smartphone application 31) Video call feature 53 The first month after discharge - four times a week 31 Twice a week until autonomy in self-care 53
Assessing stoma self-care competence 7,25,27,33,44,46,51,53-55 Preoperative Changing the ostomy device 23 Use of a model 23 In the second session of two, at home 23 On the day of admission to the hospital 23 45 minutes to one hour 23
Postoperative -hospitalization Eighteen topics considered minimal aspects for discharge, centered on knowledge and performance of stoma self-care, stoma and skin self-surveillance, and resource management 55 At discharge 55
After hospital discharge Parameters of the self-care agency scale (ESCA) 44 Ability to properly perform stoma self-care (7,25,33,51 How ostomy products/accessories are used 7 to evaluate: - Peristomal skincare 25 - Adaptation of lifestyles to the presence of the stoma 25 - Ability of the user or family caregiver to identify and make decisions regarding possible complications: dehydration, intestinal occlusion, stoma or skin complications, peristomal skin, development of peristomal hernia 25 - Normal wear time of the effluent collecting device, always ensuring that the user is autonomous in stoma self-care or that the family caregiver can replace it 25 - Discussion of ostomy device exchange routines 27 - Nurse observing the patient remove and apply the device 27 - Skin cleansing ability 25 - Monitoring of intestinal elimination 51 Telephone contact 7,44,51,53,54,56,57 Face to face 27,44,46 Home visits 7,23,53,58 Hospital consultation 38,58 Use of mobile application 51 Sessions according to the needs of the user or family 25 First contact - within seven days of hospital discharge 25,54,58, can vary between the first 48h and the first two weeks 25,27,38,54,58 Once a week 7,44 for six months 7 The 2nd contact must occur between 14 to 20 days (54), the maximum interval being two, four, and six weeks after hospital discharge 25,27 If the level of autonomy in self-care is low on the 2nd contact, the 3rd contact should be made 23 to 27 days after discharge 54 Evaluating twice a week until autonomy in self-care 53 In the first six months - at least once a month 58 or with home visits every two weeks 53 or three months, six months, and one year after discharge 27 After six months - annual follow-up 58
Training bowel elimination ostomy self-care 25,27,30,41-43,45,47,59 Postoperative -hospitalization Removal, hygiene, and cleaning procedure 50 Regularly training the cutout and, if possible, using pre-cutout devices 30 Practicing emptying the bag and changing the device 42 - Third post-op day: The patient, with supervision, removes the device, washes and dries the skin and stoma, and puts the new device on 23,37 - Fourth post-op day: The patient, without supervision, removes the device, washes, and dries the skin and stoma, and places the new device. Nurse validates at the end 23,37 - The plate exchange must be carried out by the patient autonomously on the 3rd or fourth post-op day 25 - Fifth and subsequent days: Training switching devices until autonomy 23,37 Face to face 23 Use of an ostomy simulator 50 Starting on the 1st postoperative day and scheduling remaining training based on the user's needs 30 All possible opportunities 42 In the 2nd and third training sessions 45 Four sessions 50 40 minutes 47
After hospital discharge Focused on problem-solving: - Peristomal skin problems - Selection of ostomy devices People with an ostomy who experience problems or difficulties share what actions they took to resolve them Focused on demonstrating problem-solving strategies 59 Face to face Group sessions managed by a nurse 59 Five sessions 59 -------- One hour 59
Planning follow-up consultation after hospital discharge 7,23,27,31,34,41,43,44,46,52,58 Postoperative -hospitalization + After hospital discharge Informing about follow-up contacts: - First contact: First seven days after hospital discharge 23,25,54,58, can vary between the first 48h to 72h and the first two weeks 25,27,38,46, 52,54,58 - Second contact must occur between 14 to 20 days 54, the maximum interval, after the first contact being two, four, and six weeks after hospital discharge 25,27 or the first month after discharge - four times 31 or once a week 7,43,44,46 in the first six months 7 Second and third contact between three and six weeks after discharge 23 - Second and third month after discharge -15 in 15 days 31 - One, three (41) and 6 months after discharge 31,52 Home visit ten weeks after surgery 58 Home visits once a month for the first six months 7,31,58 After six months - annual contacts 52,58 For problem-solving / when requested by the user or health professional 34,43,52 Informing about the methodology of follow-up contacts: - Face to face 23,25,31 - Telephone contact 7,34,41,43,44,46 - Home visit 7,34,58 - Use of mobile application 31 - WeChat 43 Face to face 23,25,31 Telephone contact 7,34,41,43,44,46 One hour (41)
Encouraging community interaction 25,31,54,59 After hospital discharge Focused on problem solving: - Peristomal skin problems - Selection of ostomy devices People with an ostomy who experience problems or difficulties share what actions they took to resolve them Focused on demonstrating problem-solving strategies 59 Face to face Group sessions managed by a nurse 59 One-hour sessions 59
Assessing for signs of stoma and peristomal skin complications 7,16,25,27,31,44, 46) Postoperative -hospitalization Skin evaluation with Ostomy Skin Tool 16 -- -------
After hospital discharge Hemorrhage, stenosis, allergic dermatitis, edema, and mucocutaneous dehiscence 44 Face to face 44 Telephone contact 7,44,46 Use of mobile application (WeChat) (46) Once a week for four to five months 44,46 or six months 7
Encouraging stoma self-care 23,25,31,32,37 After hospital discharge Persuasion for stoma self-care 32 - Verbal persuasion - Dependence on care Positive reinforcement 32 - Confidence building - Appropriate behavior ------- -------
Assessing knowledge of stoma and peristomal skin complications 25,27 After hospital discharge ------- ------- -------
Assessing the diet 46,56 After hospital discharge ------- Telephone contact 46 -------
Evaluating intestinal elimination 31,39,56 After hospital discharge ------- ------- -------
Evaluating the use of health resources 56 After hospital discharge ------- ------- -------
Informing about health resources 31 After hospital discharge ------- ------- -------
Teaching about self-surveillance 33 After hospital discharge Verifying changes and solutions used for troubleshooting 33 Face to face 33 -------

Source: Own elaboration

We could identify 20 nursing interventions associated with the self-care of the patient with an ostomy. Those interventions are described at various times (pre- and immediate postoperative period, during hospitalization, and even after hospital discharge). We also found adequate interventions only at one point in the hospitaliza-tion period (pre- and post-hospitalization or discharge) or interventions performed at various times, with the following distribution: four interventions during the preoperative period, five interven tions during postoperative inpatient, and 16 interventions after hospital discharge.

As for the implementation methods used, most contact is face-to-face (77 %), in the hospital (67 %), or at home (33 %). Other options are con tact by telephone (10 °%) or through a smartphone application (13 %%).

The used resources in most interventions are in writing, with the most referenced information being in a leaflet format. Digital support is also employed, namely videos, photographs, or 2D animations. For teaching, instructing, and training interventions, simulators or models are a common approach.

In the analysis of the included articles, we identified indicators to assess the impact of one or more interventions. Table 3 shows the outcomes and the method used for their assessment -answering the second research question-, the outcomes of the nursing interventions for the promotion of stoma self-care, and the instruments used to assess these results.

Table 3 Outcomes and methods for assessing the impact of nursing interventions 

Outcomes Assessment method
Length of hospital stay 23,28, 39)
Hospital readmission rates 28,39,51 General readmission rate; readmission rate for dehydration (28,51 or kidney failure 51; readmission rate for complications associated with the ostomy 39; readmission rate up to 30 days after discharge 51
Number of consultations / contacts with health professionals 23,53, including unplanned ones 48
Time of contact with a nurse 7
Use of hospital consumables 7
Estimated direct costs 51 30 days after surgery 51
Incidence of early complications 28
Incidence of complications 7,31,33,43,44,46,54 Form to assess Ostomy Complication 43,44 or Ostomy Complication Severity Index (OCSI) 7
Health-related quality of life 28 HRQoL - Generic 15D instrument 28
Quality of life 7,33,43,44,46,47 Sleep quality, activity, mental state, and appetite 43 Quality of life questionnaire-core 30 (QLQ-C30) 44 36-Item Short Form Quality of Life Scale (SF-36 QoLS) 46,47 Stoma quality of life scale (stoma-QOL) 7,33
Quality of life associated with adaptation to an ostomy 27 Questionnaire to assess physical, psychological, and social adaptation to an ostomy 27
Major and minor morbidities 28
Negative psychological emotions 43,46 Self-rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) 43,46 Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) 43,46
Anxiety 23,33 State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) 33
Depression 23
Knowledge of the disease 46,47 The self-designed disease knowledge questionnaire (includes complication management, knowledge of drug use, device change) 46
Knowledge of the ostomy 43
Knowledge of, attitude, and behavior towards ostomy self-care 40 Behavior Assessment Form (Behavior Skills) 47
Knowledge of and capacity for ostomy self-care 38,45
Psychological adaptation 31
Adaptation to an ostomy 7,50,54 Ostomy Adjustment Scale 54, Ostomy Adjustment Inventory (OAI) 7, Ostomy Adjustment Inventory-23 (OAI-23) 50
Self-efficacy 31, 33,41,50, 54) Self-efficacy scale 31, Stoma Self-efficacy Scale 33,50, 54)
Confidence for self-care 45 Visual Analog Scale (EVA) 45
Capacity for self-care 44,46 Exercise of self-care agency scale (ESCA) 44,46
Ostomy self-management 41 Questionnaire Form for Self-management of Ostomy 41
Number of days / weeks until autonomy in self-care 23,48,53
Degree of user satisfaction 23,33,44,46,49,51,53,54
Satisfaction with nursing care / intervention 38,43 Questionnaire on areas of intervention and level of satisfaction (very satisfied, satisfied, dissatisfied) 43
User perception regarding the usefulness of the nurse's intervention 56
Intervention effectiveness rate 26
Evaluation of the quality of multimedia resources 49

Source: Own elaboration

We established a relationship between interventions and indicators since this information is not expressed objectively in the literature. In addition, the same indicator can respond to a single or all interventions.


This paper is the first literature review to map nursing interventions centered on promoting the self-care of a candidate for or a person with a bowel elimination ostomy. The review showed that research is conducted within the scope of the definition of nursing interventions prescribed to the candidate or person with a bowel elimination ostomy, noting that most are experimental studies. However, those are more directed towards assessing methods for implementing nursing interventions, namely simulators 50, telephone contact 43,54, mobile apps 31, and multimedia resources 40.

Methods to improve the educational process of patients through information and communication technologies, such as computer-aided education models, are evolving rapidly, and nurses play a central and privileged role in using these technologies to enhance and optimize their interventions for patients 49. The technology most referred to in the literature is a communication-only mobile phone application. However, technology, especially mobile technology, is being used by community nurses for various purposes, including knowledge sharing, reporting, and caseload planning 60. Advances in information technologies, such as smartphones and mobile applications, have created more opportunities for people to have information related to their health status available at any time or place according to their needs and preference.

As health professionals with exclusive intervention in promoting stoma self-care, nurses must develop content that integrates into different implementation methods, whether using mobile phone applications, videos, or interactive images. This content is the disciplinary knowledge of nursing.

For the challenges faced by health professionals and people with an ostomy regarding reduced hospitalization time and increased complex therapy, whether surgical or pharmacological, it is pertinent to develop instruments that facilitate and enhance the acquisition of stoma self-care competence. The literature maintains that self-care competence positively influences the adaptation process to the stoma 54 and life quality 28,43, reduces the incidence of stoma and peristomal skin complications 43,44, and increases self-efficacy 44 and confidence in self-care 45. It is also evident that the most significant difficulties experienced after discharge are related to insufficient knowledge and the capacity for self-care and pre- and postoperative care 10. The results promote the importance of the nurse's intervention in the three perioperative moments to develop the stoma self-care competence.

The designed nursing interventions presume the definition of the content, the method of administering it, and the dosing, which includes the intervention's frequency, duration, and intensity 22,61. However, no studies addressing these characteristics systematically and completely were identified. From the identified literature, specific interventions are mentioned without any reference to content, method, and dosing, namely "Encouraging the manipulation of ostomy devices," "Promoting interaction with people with a bowel elimination ostomy," "Assessing knowledge of stoma and peristomal skin complications," "Assessing the diet," "Assessing intestinal elimination," "Assessing the use of health resources" and "Informing about health resources."

The content is the most described component in the remaining interventions and where there is the most significant consensus. Meanwhile, the administration method and dosing are referenced but is incomplete in most articles, with the dosing being the component of interventions with major discrepancies and less information available.

Within each intervention, we identified that they are repeated throughout the different administration moments (preoperative phase, postoperative hospitalization, or after hospital discharge). However, there are differences in the content and dosing of interventions at each moment.

In the preoperative period, concerning the method for the different interventions, these can be in person, via telephone, or both, the most common being only one face-to-face session on the eve of the surgery 24,26,36-39. Regardless of the interventions, method, and dosing, it is agreed that when performed preoperatively, they significantly impact the well-being of the person with a stoma, the reduction of complications, and the use of health resources 62,63. In addition, there seems to be a consensus among all authors on performing stoma site and the positive impact it has 62. In this context, "teaching about intestinal elimination ostomy" and "teaching about bowel elimination ostomy self-care" appear to be the most referenced preoperative interventions in the literature.

Concerning the interventions implemented in the postoperative period, during hospitalization, we found comparative studies between the use of the face-to-face expository method, face-to-face intervention combined with multimedia resources, or the exclusive use of multimedia methods. The results suggest that the use of multimedia tools can be used to implement the intervention. Nevertheless, it is enhanced when combined with the face-to-face intervention by the nurse 40,45. One aspect to be considered before the execution of any nursing intervention to promote self-care is to ensure that the patient is prepared and available without any discomfort or pain 42. The use of the internet has emerged as an intervention method with excellent cost-effectiveness in the following cases: "Teaching about bowel elimination ostomy," and "Teaching about bowel elimination ostomy self-care," 31,64.

Considering the approach after hospital discharge, the methods of implementing the interventions are telephone or face-to-face contact in the context of a consultation in a hospital or through home visits. Telephone contact emerges as an effective strategy in specific interventions such as "Assessing stoma self-care competence" and "Watching for signs of stoma and peristomal skin complications." These interventions have beneits regarding associated costs and health gains, scope of customer satisfaction, improved adaptation to the stoma, perception of self-efficacy, and reduced incidence of stoma or peristomal skin complications 54,56.

Consensus among the authors was identified regarding follow-up by a stoma nurse and early start of follow-up, namely in the first week after hospital discharge, being the non-face-to-face contact via telephone call one of the most mentioned methods 54,56,65.

The intervention "Planning a follow-up appointment after hospital discharge" is the one with more variable dosing options after discharge. However, the first six weeks are defined as the most vulnerable phase and require a closer intervention 25,27,44.

Some studies evaluated the impact that interventions, or a set of them, could have on specific indicators. From the analysis of Table 2, not all authors express how they evaluate the indicator in question, which emerges as a limitation to research rigor and replication. In the review context, the indicators most sensitive to nursing interventions are highlighted, which we group into ive categories: safety, economic, psychological well-being, functional status and, symptom experience 22.

In the sensitive results to nursing interventions and safety categories, the incidence of stoma and peristomal skin complications was considered, which stands out as the most common in the articles, followed by economic results as length of stay, the rate of hospital readmission, and the number of consultations.

For the psychological well-being category, indicators such as anxiety, depression, and negative emotions are used. The functional status category groups indicators such as adaptation and the capacity for self-care and indirect indicators such as user satisfaction. For the symptom experience category, no indicator is shown.

Considering the direct and autonomous intervention of nurses in promoting stoma self-care, they would be expected to use reliable and rigorous instruments to assess the level of stoma self-care competence 66. However, only three authors use direct indicators to assess the impact of nursing interventions on self-care competence 41,44,46, while the remaining indicators evaluate it indirectly. For assessing the impact of interventions, their contents, methods, and dosing on self-care competence, it is imperative to use direct indicators, that is, stoma self-care competence of and the dimensions comprising it 66.

Regarding the analyzed literature, the interventions and the contents to be included in the different moments of the perioperative period are defined; nevertheless, they are still poorly consolidated. It should be noted that the period after hospital discharge is the one that lacks the most evidence regarding the definition of nursing interventions, contents, and dosing, also emerging as the period of greatest vulnerability for the person with a new ostomy 67.

This review highlights evidence that can facilitate the intervention of nurses in providing care to the person proposed for stoma construction or after its construction. The results of this review must be examined in light of several limitations. The broad nature of our Boolean research phrase was intended to include the most significant number of studies, but did not cover all the databases and gray literature, certainly excluding some references.


Stoma self-care is enhanced by an appropriate nursing intervention from the preoperative moment, to the immediate postoperative period, to adjusted follow-up after hospital discharge. The promotion of self-care is a critical component in the recovery of people with an ostomy, with a significant impact on several indicators sensitive to the intervention of nurses, namely functional status, safety, and psychological and economic impact. The knowledge and use of these indicators are of crucial importance for, on the one hand, highlighting the condition of patients, and on the other hand, demonstrating the relevance of nursing care to the person.

While there is available literature that supports the nurse's intervention in elimination ostomy self-care, more research is needed on the definition of content, methods, and dosing of interventions, especially after hospital discharge where a more significant lack of information and vulnerability of the person with a new ostomy are detected.

There is no evidence to support the improvement in clinical results, suggesting that further studies should be carried out through rigorous programs to develop a viable educational intervention that improves the care provided to patients.

The use of multiple and indirect outcomes in assessing nursing interventions is beneficial to understand their impact on different areas; however, a direct indicator of the objective of the intervention should always be used. Thus, when evaluating interventions or intervention programs aimed at promoting stoma self-care, it is crucial to employ tools that directly assess self-care competence.


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Theme: Chronic care, promotion and prevention.

Contribution to the discipline: Self-care competence in a bowel elimination ostomy is a factor commonly associated to facilitating adaptation to life with a stoma, improving quality of life, and reducing stoma and peristomal skin complications. Nurses play a central and often exclusive role in promoting self-care in people with an ostomy. Several nursing interventions and their direct and indirect outcomes were identified to promote self-care for the bowel elimination ostomy.

Conflicts of interest: None declared.

Para citar este artículo / To reference this article / Para citar este artigo: Soares-Pinto IE, Queirós S, Alves P, Carvalho T, Santos C, Brito MA. Nursing Interventions to Promote Self-Care in a Candidate for a Bowel Elimination Ostomy: Scoping Review. Aquichan. 2022;22(1):e2212. DOI:

Received: February 07, 2021; Revised: October 01, 2021; Accepted: October 04, 2021

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