The purposes of this study were threefold: (1) to find which method of colostomy irrigation (enema bag vs. bulb syringe) was best accepted by colostomy patients; (2) to functionally evaluate the two types of colostomy irrigation methods; and (3) to report the results of this study to medical personnel interested in advancements for colostomy irrigations. The population in this study consisted of colostomy patients who had irrigated on a regular basis with the bag technique for a minimum of six months. Twelve colostomates completed this study by recording the parameter of time, amount of irrigation fluid used, quality of return, and discomforts for one week with each method and by completing an evaluative questionnaire after the two week irrigation period.

The main hypothesis of this study was that colostomates, after using both the bag and bulb irrigation techniques, would prefer and choose to use the bulb method. This hypothesis was not statistically supported by the data analysis; a plurality of patients did prefer the bulb technique. A sub-hypothesis that the bulb method would require less time for irrigation than the bag method was not supported by this study. The difference in the mean of the mean total times for both techniques was longer for the bulb irrigation; a statistical significance of P < 0.005. The greater amount of time with the bulb method may be attributed to the fact that the colostomates had to develop new skills, that required time to obtain, with the bulb method, but that were already developed with the bag method. Two other sub-hypotheses were that the bulb method, using less irrigation fluid, would: (1) decrease the amount of discomfort with irrigation and (2) retain comparable qualities of results to the bag method. The statistical analysis indicated no significance. Since the results in this study, other than time aspects, showed no statistical significance, it can not be concluded that one method of colostomy irrigation is better than or more preferred over the other.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Matilda Anabelle Mills

Second Advisor

Charleene Riffel

Third Advisor

Bruce B. Branson

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Colostomy; Patients



Page Count

ix; 64

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives