Intestinal ostomies and informal caregiving for colorectal cancer survivors

Many colorectal cancer survivors are living with intestinal ostomies, which can lead to bowel incontinence, unless managed daily with special equipment, diet, and behavior. Losing the ability to manage one’s ostomy independently can transform an ostomy from a manageable impairment to a source of profound disempowerment, stigma, and disability. This study, led by Dr. Carmit McMullen (KPNW), uses a social model of disability framework to better understand the interrelationships among disability and caregiving in this population, and identifies strategies that ostomates and their caregivers employ to cope with caregiving challenges. This study builds on a longstanding research program on the quality of life of long-term colorectal cancer survivors.

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