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    The psychological challenges of living with an ileostomy: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

    Smith, Jonathan A. and Spiers, Johanna and Simpson, P. and Nicholls, A. (2017) The psychological challenges of living with an ileostomy: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Health Psychology 36 (2), pp. 143-151. ISSN 0278-6133.

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    Objectives: Ileostomy, in which the small intestine is re-directed out of an abdominal wall so that waste is collected using a bag, is used to treat conditions including Inflammatory Bowel Disease and colorectal cancer. This paper reports an in depth idiographic analysis of the experience of living with an ileostomy. Methods: 21 participants took part in semi-structured interviews about their lives and relationships. Those interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using the experiential qualitative methodology Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Results: Two super-ordinate themes arose from the data: Ileostomy’s intra-personal impact; the impact of ileostomy on relationships with others. We found that ileostomy may destabilise the sense of self, disrupt body image, and alter experience of age and sexuality. Other participants were able to employ their illness to positively reframe the self. Disclosure of ileostomy status was difficult for some. Intimate and friend relationships were often challenged by stoma status, whilst other family relationships were largely characterised as supportive. Conclusions: Ileostomy may impact upon both intra and interpersonal aspects of the lives of those who live with it, in both negative and positive ways. Consequently, the sense of self can appear challenged, and relationships with partners, family members and friendships could be causes of distress. On the other hand, some partners were supportive, and children were found to be sources of comfort.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Jonathan Smith
    Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2017 15:40
    Last Modified: 09 Jun 2021 13:18


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