Clinical and Demographic Differences Among Cancer Survivors With Ostomies With and Without Informal Caregivers

Matthew Rock, Jake M. Kieserman, Virginia Sun, Marcia Grant, Elizabeth Ercolano, Ruth McCorkle, Michael J. Holcomb, Ronald S. Weinstein, Mark C. Hornbrook, Robert S. Krouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Informal caregivers have an essential role for cancer survivors (CS). There may be important clinical and demographic differences between CS with ostomies based on caregiver status. Our aim was to identify items that may lead to future recommendations and interventions for CS with ostomies. This is a secondary analysis of 216 CS with ostomies that were enrolled in a clinical trial. Baseline data collected included demographics, clinical characteristics, and surveys (patient activation, self-efficacy, City of Hope Quality of Life – Ostomy). These factors were compared based on caregiver status using chi-squared analysis and t-tests. Logistic regression was used to examine the factors that affect the likelihood of having a caregiver. Most participants had an identified caregiver (57%; 124/216). There was no difference in age based on caregiver status (mean 64.4 and 62.0 for those with and without a caregiver, respectively). Of those with a caregiver, 66.9% were males, 79.0% were partnered, and 87.1% were white. Those with caregivers had a higher prevalence of diabetes (p < 0.001), heart disease (p = 0.002), and mobility issues (p = 0.002). Survivors with caregivers had both higher incomes (p = 0.012) and levels of education (p = 0.049). The only difference in survey measures was those with a caregiver were more successful at getting help when needed (p =.045). Differences in gender and comorbidities of CS with caregivers demand further investigation. Interventions such as encouraging CS without caregivers to utilize available sources of social support, including other survivors with ostomies, may improve their care and quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-461
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Cancer survivors
  • Caregivers
  • Intervention
  • Ostomy
  • Psycho-oncology
  • Telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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