Differences in low back pain managementfor people with a stoma: a survey

Iseult Wilson, Daniel Paul Kerr, Sheila Lennon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Back pain is a problem in society as a whole. Previous work has shown that people with a stoma also develop back pain, but it was not known how this back pain was managed. Aim: To investigate how adults in Northern Ireland with either an ileostomy or colostomy managed their back pain at home. Methods: A postal questionnaire survey was sent to people with either an ileostomy or colostomy in Northern Ireland (n = 1322). The questionnaire included questions regarding the back pain experience (frequency and severity of pain), related disability and the strategies used in managing back pain, which is the focus of this paper. The questionsregarding the management of low back pain were in one of three 5-point Likert scale formats depending on the question. Results: Of the 1322 people approached, 895 (67.7%) questionnaires were returned. Onehundred and sixty (17.9%) were either blank or incomplete and were, therefore, not included in the analysis. Analysis was carried out on 735 completed questionnaires. There were no statistically significant differences between men and women in whether they managed their back pain by themselves, or sought help from various healthcare professionals. Women more than men, and those with a colostomy rather than an ileostomy, were more likely to have issues regarding back pain. Neither stoma group believed that changing their posture or activities would help the back pain. This has implications for back care education. Conclusion: Many people with a stoma have back pain, and this is managed in a variety of ways. There is no clear evidence regarding the best or most effective method of managing back pain in this group of people, and further research is ongoing into this important and novel area of research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-27
JournalGastrointestinal nursing
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


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