Background: Intestinal stomas (ostomies) have been associated negatively with multiple aspects of health-related quality of life. This article examines the relationship between employment status and psychological well-being (PWB) in veterans who underwent major bowel procedures with or without ostomy. Methods: Veterans from 3 Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers were surveyed using the City of Hope ostomy-specific questionnaire and the Short Form 36 item Veteran's version (SF-36V). Response rate was 48% (511 of 1,063). Employment and PWB relationship was assessed using multiple regression with age, income, SF-36V physical component summary (PCS), and employment status as independent variables. Results: Employed veterans reported higher PWB compared with unemployed veterans (P = .003). Full-time workers also reported higher PWB than part-time or unemployed workers (P = .001). Ostomy was not an independent predictor of PWB. Conclusions: Employment among veterans after major abdominal surgery may have intrinsic value for PWB. Patients should be encouraged to return to work, or do volunteer work after recovery.
- Quality of life
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