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best practice, care pathway, care program, nursing, ostomy



  1. Nizum, Nafsin MN, RN
  2. Jacob, Greeshma MScN, RN


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate if ostomy care pathways improve outcomes for adults anticipating or living with an ostomy.


DATA SOURCES: In this systematic review, the authors searched the MEDLINE, CINAHL, Cochrane Central, and EMBASE databases.


STUDY SELECTION: Studies were included if they met the following criteria: written in English, targeted adults anticipating or currently living with an ostomy, evaluated the impact of two or more components of an ostomy care pathway, and included one or more of the pertinent outcomes (patient satisfaction, hospital length of stay, hospital readmission rates, and staff satisfaction).


DATA EXTRACTION: Details recorded included design, setting, descriptions of intervention and control groups, patient characteristics, outcomes, data collection tools, effect size, and potential harms.


DATA SYNTHESIS: Of 5,298 total records, 11 met the inclusion criteria: 2 randomized controlled trials and 9 nonrandomized studies. The overall quality of the studies was low. Of the four studies that examined patient satisfaction, all studies reported improvement or positive satisfaction rates. Of the six studies that evaluated hospital length of stay, five noted a decrease in length of stay. Of the eight studies that evaluated hospital readmission rates, five found a reduction in hospital readmission rates. No studies reported on staff satisfaction.


CONCLUSIONS: Ostomy care pathways included preoperative education and counseling, postoperative education and discharge planning, and outpatient home visits and telephone follow-ups. Ostomy care pathways may contribute to patient satisfaction and decrease both hospital length of stay and hospital readmission rates. However, higher-quality literature is needed to be confident in the effectiveness of ostomy care pathways.