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Date of this Version



The American Journal of Surgery (2010) 200, 585–590; doi:10.1016/j.amjsurg.2010.07.006


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. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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