eHealth promoting stoma self-care for people with an elimination ostomy: focus group study

Igor Soares-Pinto*, Ana Margarida Pinto Braga, Isabel Maria Ribeiro Morais Araujo Santos, Natália Maria Ribeiro Gomes Ferreira, Sandra Cristina da Rocha e Silva, Paulo Jorge Alves

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The construction of an elimination stoma has a physical, psychological, and social impact on the person. The development of stoma self-care competence contributes to the adaptation to a new health condition and improvement of quality of life. eHealth refers to everything associated with information and communication technology and health care, including telemedicine, mobile health, and health informatics. The use of eHealth platforms by the person with an ostomy, as a digital application that includes websites and mobile phone apps, can bring scientific knowledge and well-informed practices to individuals, families, and communities. It also allows functionalities that enable the person to describe and identify early signs and symptoms and precursors of complications and to be guided to an adequate health response for their problems. Objective: This study aimed to define the most relevant content and features to promote ostomy self-care integrated into an eHealth platform as a digital app or website to be used by patients for self-management of stoma care. Methods: We developed a descriptive, exploratory study with a qualitative approach using the focus group methodology, which was oriented to reach a consensus of at least 80%. A convenience sample of 7 participants consisting of stomatherapy nurses was used. The focus group discussion was recorded, and field notes were taken. The focus group meeting was fully transcribed, and a qualitative analysis was performed. The research question was: Which content and features for ostomy self-care promotion should be integrated into an eHealth platform as a digital app or website? Results: An eHealth platform, which can be a smartphone app or website, for people with ostomy should provide content aimed at promoting self-care, namely in the field of knowledge and self-monitoring, as well as the possibility of interacting with a stomatherapy care nurse. Conclusions: The stomatherapy nurse has a decisive role in promoting adaptation to life with a stoma, namely through the promotion of stoma self-care. Technological evolution has emerged as a useful tool to enhance nursing interventions and promote self-care competence. The development of an eHealth platform aimed at promoting ostomy self-care should include the capabilities for telehealth and help with decision-making regarding self-monitoring and seeking differentiated care.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere39826
Number of pages11
JournalJMIR Human Factors
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • eHealth
  • Health education
  • Nurses
  • Ostomy
  • Self-care
  • Telemedicine


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