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The experience of flatus incontinence from a bowel ostomy: a hermeneutic phenomenology



The experience of flatus incontinence from a bowel ostomy: a hermeneutic phenomenology



Journal of Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing 33(5): 518-524



To interpret and present possible meanings in the stories of people with bowel ostomies about their experience of impact of flatus incontinence on their life and being. Hermeneutic phenomenology guided by a Gadamerian perspective. Six people with a bowel ostomy were recruited from a city in Australia. In-depth, nonstructured interviews generated rich text. Interviews were videotaped. A variety of interpretive, hermeneutic techniques were applied for text interpretation Nine existential themes of meaning emerged: I am undignified, I am a secret, I am always with gas, I am not myself alone, I am without choice, I am a seeker of control, I am the smell, I am not normal, and I am living a life-sort of. Through symbiotic interpretation, writing, and re-writing, themes were encompassed in a short story: a creative synthesis of actual events and interpreted understandings for ostomates about possible meanings of experiencing flatus incontinence. Flatus incontinence for people with bowel ostomies can be quite discommoding and impact on their interactions, self-image, sexuality, social activity, and psychological well-being. Nurses need to understand this for empathetic interaction, patient assessment, intervention selection, research planning, and pertinent education.

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Accession: 050632483

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PMID: 17133140


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