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How can we support patients with a chronic condition in getting the most out of life? Living with a chronic condition is a continuous process of balancing the demands of the condition and the demands of everyday life. Self-care (read more in the pdf) has physical, psychological and social aspects, and all require time and effort: When being discharged from hospital, people need to take time out to perhaps learn new routines, products and perhaps prescriptions, dealing with endless trial and error cycles, visits to the hospital, etc. All this can lead to a stressful situation between managing the condition, and the life the individual hopes to have. To manage the stress, many people with a chronic condition might simply focus their energy on maintaining a somewhat ‘basic’ daily life, while sacrificing some of what they truly consider meaningful in life. Read more

More articles from: Lena Ehmsen Lachenmeier- Director of Medical Marketing at Coloplast A/S

Focus on the hidden issues of chronic conditions

This edition of the Ostomy Life Study Review introduces how we constantly have to bring forward and illuminate the hidden burdens of people with chronic conditions and encourage behavioural changes through improved training and support. Often, the struggle to manage a chronic condition leads to people hiding and accepting problems that could have been solved by an expert. Managing a challenging ostomy can become a habit, a burden that is just considered “part of life” with an ostomy, affecting people’s quality of life.

The new Ostomy Life Study puts focus on different peristomal body profiles

The basis of this review is the Ostomy Life Study 20161, conducted to understand the challenges of people’s peristomal body profiles and the challenges that they are dealing with in their everyday life. In 2014 Coloplast conducted the first Ostomy Life Study, published in the Gastrointestinal Nursing2.

The Body Profile Terminology helps improve understanding and knowledge sharing

The Body Profile Terminology (see p. 7) can provide a common platform for knowledge sharing on treatment and leakage prevention2, because it helps standardise the description of peristomal areas under the umbrella of the three overall categories: ‘Regular’ – ‘Inward’ – ‘Outward’. This can support the expert intervention: In providing the right training, the right products and the right education. But any intervention means a change in habits, sometimes a radical change. And daily habits are powerful. In fact, daily habits may be the most powerful of all behaviours. Understanding the psychology of long-term behavior change is key – and we hope this edition of the Ostomy Life Study Review will inspire you to once again consider the varied needs of the individual - and how you can help them adapt to their change in conditions.

A note from the co-editors

The Ostomy Life Study Review represents an ambition to gather and share new insights about how people live with their ostomy. In the Global Coloplast Ostomy Forum we find this project to be incredibly important. And we must take these insights very seriously, as we lack information on how people manage their ostomy after they leave our care. Data and insights like the ones presented in the Ostomy Life Study Review increases the knowledge of how to recognise individual needs and find appropriate solutions and guidance based on that knowledge.
What we find unique and important about the Ostomy Life Study is that we learn more from the perspective of the patients, which helps us get a much better understanding of the high impact that leakage and other complications can have on people’s quality of life. And finally, it directly shows how our work influences the everyday life of people with chronic conditions – and how we can help them even better.

– Global Coloplast Ostomy Forum
The Global Coloplast Ostomy Forum group consists of 13 ostomy care nurses from 9 different countries with many years of experience and a high level of expertise within ostomy care.

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