Quantitative and qualitative results of a study conducted with ostomy care nurses support the content validation of a new standardized algorithm for ostomy care, according to an article published this month in the journal Ostomy Wound Management.
Building on existing evidence-based literature and best practice documents, including those of the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society, the new Ostomy Algorithm represents the first comprehensive guideline for ostomy care management to undergo content validation.
The Ostomy Algorithm consists of 11 assessments, beginning with the type of ostomy, intended to provide a pathway to help non-specialist clinicians optimize care for their patients with an ostomy. One of the assessments is a new evidence-based instrument, known as the SACS™ Instrument, to objectively assess and classify peristomal lesions, a common complication affecting people with an ostomy.
"With a majority of ostomy care now occurring outside of a specialist setting, there is a clear need for evidence-based guidelines in this area," said Janice Beitz, PhD, RN, CS, CNOR, CWOCN, CRNP and lead author, "and especially as patient rehabilitation and quality of life are highly dependent on proper identification and assessment of stoma and skin complications."
Developed by an expert panel comprised of WOCN clinicians with support from ConvaTec, a world-leading developer of innovative medical technologies for community and hospital care, the Ostomy Algorithm is also modeled on the content-validated Solutions® Algorithms for Wound Care, pioneered by ConvaTec more than 10 years ago and still the only comprehensive evidence-based guidelines for wound management available today.
In the study, conducted among a nationally representative sample of 166 ostomy care experts, participants were asked to quantify the degree of validity of the Ostomy Algorithm's decisions and components, using a four-point rating scale (4 = relevant/very relevant). The mean relevancy score for the Ostomy Algorithm overall was 3.8, resulting in an overall content validity index of .95 (out of 1.0). Individual component scores ranged from 3.59 to 3.91.
"As our study shows, the new Ostomy Algorithm was very well received by expert nurses, who gave it strong content validity scores overall and across each of its component assessments," commented Beitz. "With further refinements based on participant feedback and upcoming research planned with staff nurses, the new Ostomy Algorithm holds tremendous potential to improve patient outcomes."