nonmetropolitan, ostomates, quality of life, regional, rural, stoma



  1. Ketterer, Sarah N.
  2. Leach, Michael J.
  3. Fraser, Caitlin


Background: Interruption of gastrointestinal continuity through surgical formation of a stoma can be lifesaving. However, it is also typically associated with reduced quality of life (QoL). Although past research has investigated QoL among people living with a stoma, no known studies have investigated stoma-related QoL, specifically among nonmetropolitan residents who may experience distinct health issues compared with their metropolitan counterparts.


Objectives: The aim of the study was to investigate the level of and factors associated with QoL among people living with a stoma in nonmetropolitan Australia.


Methods: In a cross-sectional survey, 678 adults with colostomy, ileostomy, and/or urostomy and with membership in a regional Victorian stoma association were given the City of Hope Quality of Life Questionnaire for a Patient With an Ostomy (QOL-O). Total QoL score was calculated and described before categorization into quintiles. Patient factors associated with quintiles of QoL were assessed using univariable and multivariable proportional odds ordinal logistic regression, with a 95% confidence interval excluding 1.00 denoting statistical significance.


Results: Overall, 311 regional ostomy association members (46%) responded to any QOL-O questions; 285 members responded to >80% of QOL-O questions and contributed data to the study. Their median age was 73 years, and 60% were male. The median total QoL score was 6.9 on a scale of 0-10, where a higher number indicates better QoL. Factors independently associated with better QoL in the multivariable model were working full/part time, no poststoma clothing change, poststoma sexual activity, and older age. Factors independently associated with worse QoL were poststoma depression and a stoma location issue.


Discussion: People living with a stoma in nonmetropolitan Australia reported moderate-to-high QoL. Better QoL was identified in those who worked, had no poststoma clothing change, were sexually active poststoma, and were older. Worse QoL was seen in those who had poststoma depression and stoma location issues. Healthcare providers could influence stoma-related QoL by identifying risk factors and tailoring interventions toward individuals in nonmetropolitan settings.