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Table 2 Characteristics of the included studies

From: The sexuality experience of stoma patients: a meta-ethnography of qualitative research

Study (Publication year/Country)


Number of participants (Males


Age range (years)

Type of stoma (n)

Study design

Aim of study

Main results

Manderson [32]


Participants’ homes

N = 32 (11 M/21F)


Not reported

Unstructured interviews; descriptive qualitative research;

thematic analysis

Explore men and women’s experiences of adapting to a stoma

Three themes: Adapting to changes; disguise and discomfort; sex and sexiness

Ramirez et al. [4]


Participants’ home, local medical facility, or most convenient location

N = 30 (0 M/30F)


Not reported

Semi-structured, open-ended interviews; grounded theory; grounded theory approach

Explore the experiences related to sexuality among female colorectal cancer survivors with permanent intestinal stomas

Four themes: No long-term sexual difficulties: Long-term sexual difficulties; Age-related changes in sexuality; No partnered sexual experience post-surgery

Paula et al. [33]


Not reported

N = 15 (7 M/8F)

 ≥ 30

Colostomy (12), ileostomy (2), loop transvers ostomy (1)

Semi-structured interviews; descriptive qualitative research;

content analysis

Identify Social Representations of people with intestinal stoma regarding how they experience sexuality before and after the stoma production

Resulting in the thematic unit “Giving new meaning to sexuality” and subthemes:

changes in how to experience sexuality after the stoma; new concerns related to the sexual ac; strategies to adapt moments of intimacy; the technique of irrigation and use of intestinal occluder as factors that facilitate the sexual act; the concern about not damaging the stoma; the sexual disorders or dysfunctions resulting from the surgery; the possibility of fully experiencing sexuality despite the stoma and the distance kept form sex as an option

Cardoso et al. [34]


an available and convenient unit in the private room for participants

N = 10 (6 M/4F)

 ≥ 60

Colostomy (9),

ileostomy (1)

Semi-structured interview; descriptive qualitative research; inductive content analysis

describe the experience of sexuality and other everyday life aspects for people with intestinal stoma

Three themes: Physical, emotional, and socio-cultural changes; Changes in the exercise of sexuality of people with intestinal ostomy; importance of the interdisciplinary support of the new sexuality

Vural et al. [35]


A quiet, well-lightened, and aerated room without a telephone or other distracting technologies

N = 14 (7 M/7F)


Colostomy (7),

ileostomy (6),

urostomy (1)

Unstructured interviews; phenomenological qualitative design; content analysis

Describe the lived experiences of persons with stomas related to sexual function and perceptions and their expectations of the stoma nurses who care for them

Five themes: changes in sexual life; changes in body image; fear and anxiety experienced during sexual intercourse; psychological impact of sexual problems; and expectations concerning sexual counseling from ostomy nurses

Kimura et al. [36]


Not reported

N = 56 (56 M/0F)


Not reported

Mixed-methods studies, qualitative and quantitative; individual interviews; Bardin’s content analysis

Analyze the perception of ostomized men due to intestinal cancer regarding sexual relations as an important dimension of quality of life

Five themes: ostomy, self-care, acceptance, self-concept, and


Sarabi et al. [28]


At the park, participants’ homes, airport or in the Iranian Ostomy Association

N = 27

(15 M/12F)


Colostomy (11), ileostomy (10), urostomy (6)

Unstructured interviews; descriptive qualitative research; inductive content analysis

Explore the sexual performance experiences of patients with a stoma and their spouse

Five themes: experiencing sexual problems; patient’s reaction to sexual problems;

confronting with consequence of sexual problems; reproductive difficulties and facing with the effects of the menopause

Kandemir and Oskay [27]


A quiet room

N = 10 (10 M/0F)

Not reported

Urostomy (10)

Open-ended interviews; phenomenological qualitative design; content analysis

Identify experiences, views, and problems of bladder cancer patients with urostomy regarding the effects of urostomy on their and their spouse or partner’s sexual life

Three themes: changes in body image; problems experienced during sexual activity; and receiving help and support in relation to the problems experienced