Hernia Active Living Trial (HALT): An exercise intervention in people with a parastomal hernia or bulge

Claire Taylor, Julie Munro, William Goodman, Sarah Russell, Raymond Oliphant, Rebecca J. Beeken, Gill Hubbard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Parastomal hernias are a common consequence of stoma surgery and can occur in up to 50% of patients. They are mangaged either conservatively, through support hosiery, or surgically. A patient feasibility study called the Hernia Active Living Trial (HALT) was designed to examine if a clinical pilates-based exercise programme offers an alternative approach to managing a parastomal hernia or bulge. Method: Adults with an ileostomy or colostomy who perceived they had a bulge around their stoma were included in the study. The intervention included up to 12 online sessions of an exercise booklet and videos with an exercise specialist. Interviews were conducted to explore participants’ experiences of the intervention. The interview data were analysed systematically and thematically. Participants were also asked to complete patient diaries every week. Results: Twelve of the 13 participants who completed the intervention agreed to be interviewed. Following analysis, three main themes emerged including managing a hernia/bulge, benefits and barriers. Participants talked about the benefits of this programme including: reduction of the size of their hernia, increased abdominal control, body confidence and posture, as well as increased physical activity levels. The barriers described were generally overcome allowing participants to engage in what was perceived to be a positive and potentially life-changing experience. Conclusions: A clinical pilates-based exercise programme for people with a parastomal hernia can bring both direct and indirect improvements to a patient’s hernia management, sense of wellbeing and day-to-day life. Individuals with a hernia should be informed about the need for, and value of, exercise to strengthen core muscles, as part of their non-surgical options for self-management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S4-S11
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • Abdominal control
  • Bulge
  • Exercise
  • Parastomal hernia
  • Physical activity


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