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An exercise project to prevent parastomal hernia and promote patient health

07 September 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 16

SHAPE was implemented as a quality improvement project to improve nursing practice and promote better patient outcomes in stoma patients with a parastomal hernia. The name SHAPE came about when visualising the goals and outcomes of combining education with support group sessions. Originally, the project was called Stoma Hernia and Preventive Exercises but, following the first group session, it was soon realised these sessions offered more of a focus on stoma health so SHAPE was renamed Stoma Health and Preventive Exercises.

A parastomal hernia is defined as a protrusion through the abdominal wall defect created during stoma-forming surgery. They range in size from a small asymptomatic bulge to a large complicated mass with life-threatening symptoms (Cowin and Redmond, 2012). According to North (2014), a parastomal hernia is the most common complication post surgery and stoma patients have a lifelong risk of developing a hernia because of the surgical defect created within the abdominal wall. Earlier research identified that more than 50% of patients presented with a parastomal hernia in the first year post surgery (Thompson and Trainer, 2007). Further surgery may be needed to repair the hernia but that comes with a high incidence of reoccurrence and associated risks.

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