Psychometric evaluation of the ostomy complication severity index

Joyce Pittman, Tamilyn Bakas, Marsha Ellett, Rebecca Sloan, Susan M. Rawl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of a new instrument to measure incidence and severity of ostomy complications early in the postoperative period. Subjects and Settings: 71 participants were enrolled, most were men (52%), white (96%), and married or partnered (55%). The mean age of participants was 57 ± 15.09 years (mean ± SD). Fifty-two participants (84%) experienced at least 1 ostomy complication in the 60-day postoperative period. The research setting was 3 acute care settings within a large healthcare system in the Midwestern United States. Instrument: We developed an evidence-based conceptual model to guide development and evaluation of a new instrument, the Pittman Ostomy Complication Severity Index (OCSI). The OCSI format includes Likert-like scale with 9 individual items scored 0 to 3 and a total score computed by summing the individual items. Higher scores indicate more severe ostomy complications. METHOD: This study consisted of 2 phases: (1) an expert review, conducted to establish content validity; and (2) a prospective, longitudinal study design, to examine psychometric properties of the instrument. A convenience sample of 71 adult patients who underwent surgery to create a new fecal ostomy was recruited from 3 hospitals. Descriptive analyses, content validity indices, interrater reliability testing, and construct validity testing were employed. Results: Common complications included leakage (60%), peristomal moisture-associated dermatitis (50%), stomal pain (42%), retraction (39%), and bleeding (32%). The OCSI demonstrated acceptable evidence of content validity index (CVI = 0.9) and interrater reliability for individual items (k = 0.71-1.0), as well as almost perfect agreement for total scores among raters (ICC = 0.991, P ≤.001). Construct validity of the OCSI was supported by significant correlations among variables in the conceptual model (complications, risk factors, stoma care self-efficacy, and ostomy adjustment). Conclusion: OCSI demonstrated acceptable validity and reliability and can be used to assess incidence and severity of ostomy complications in the early postoperative period. We found the OCSI to be brief, easy-to-use, and clinically practical. It can be used to (a) identify priority areas for nursing intervention related to the ostomy, (b) determine appropriate interventions to prevent or treat complications, and (c) evaluate the effects of nursing interventions designed to improve outcomes for patients with ostomies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-157
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


  • instrument
  • ostomy adjustment
  • ostomy complications
  • psychometric properties
  • risk factors
  • self-effi cacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Medical–Surgical
  • Medicine(all)

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