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Costs of an ostomy self-management training program for cancer survivors

Objective: To measure incremental expenses to an oncologic surgical practice for delivering a community-based, ostomy nurse-led, small-group, behavior skills-training intervention to help bladder and colorectal cancer survivors understand and adjust to their ostomies and improve their health-related quality of life, as well as assist family caregivers to understand survivors' needs and provide appropriate supportive care. Methods: The intervention was a 5-session group behavior skills training in ostomy self-management following the principles of the Chronic Care Model. Faculty included Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses (WOCNs) using an ostomy care curriculum. A gender-matched peer-in-time buddy was assigned to each ostomy survivor. The 4-session survivor curriculum included the following: self-management practice and solving immediate ostomy concerns; social well-being; healthy lifestyle; and a booster session. The single family caregiver session was coled by a WOCN and an ostomy peer staff member and covered relevant caregiver and ostomate support issues. Each cohort required 8 weeks to complete the intervention. Nonlabor inputs included ostomy supplies, teaching materials, automobile mileage for WOCNs, mailing, and meeting space rental. Intervention personnel were employed by the University of Arizona. Labor expenses included salaries and fringe benefits. Results: The total incremental expense per intervention cohort of 4 survivors was $7246 or $1812 per patient. Conclusions: A WOCN-led group self-help ostomy survivorship intervention provided affordable, effective, care to cancer survivors with ostomies. 

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