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Title: An existential phenomenological exploration of the experience of living with a new stoma
Author: Thorpe, Gabrielle Clare
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 6264
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2012
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Approximately 102,000 individuals live with an excretory stoma in the UK. Existing research shows huge variation in how individuals experience living with a new stoma. Previous qualitative research is retrospective or explores this experience for only three months following surgery. A study exploring the experience of living with a stoma over a longer time- frame is needed to expand on existing qualitative research. This study explored individuals' experiences of living with a new stoma, examining experiences of bodily change, health care and time. An existential phenomenological methodology underpinned in-depth interviews with twelve new ostomists conducted post- surgery at three, nine and fifteen months. Individual interviews were conducted with ten healthcare professionals to provide adjunct data. Analysis using a five-staged framework facilitated iterative scrutiny of data, contributing to a universal understanding of the experience. Three themes emerged: changed body, disrupted social world and experiences of healthcare. Stoma formation changed the familiar relationship individuals had with their bodies in terms of appearance, function and sensation, undermining the unity between body and self. Disruption to participants' embodiment within their social worlds impeded social confidence. Building a new sense of embodied self and increasing social confidence were facilitated by regaining physical capacity. mastering stoma function and care and the acceptance and support of others. Exploring how time influences this experience aids understanding of the complex processes of adaptation and self-acceptance for new ostomists. Provision of responsive healthcare helps to establish self-determination, foregrounding adaptation to and acceptance of self with a stoma. This study can contribute to defining a framework of care that assists new ostomists to adapt to and accept a changed sense of embodied self in addition to highlighting to HCPs their own powerful influence in facilitating or hindering this process through their knowledge, experience and underpinning philosophy of care
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available