Eighteen patients who had undergone stoma surgery were assessed with respect to their anxiety level and self-reported quality of life (QoL) on three occasions; namely, immediately after surgery, 5 weeks after surgery, and 10 weeks after surgery. The patients were randomised into a control group (n = 10) and an experimental group (n = 8). A 20-min set of audiotaped instructions on progressive muscle relaxation training (PMRT) was given to the patients in the experimental group for home practice. Assessment instructions included the Chinese State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (C-STAI), the Quality of Life Index for Colostomy (QoL-Colostomy) and the Hong Kong Chinese version of the World Health Organisation Quality of Life Scale (WHOQoL). Results indicated that there was a significant decrease in both the C-STAI score (F = 4.66, P < 0.05) and the WHOQoL score (F = 4.74, P < 0.05) in the experimental group. Among the domains of WHOQoL, a significant difference was shown in physical health/independence and general perception of QoL, with the experimental group demonstrating better functioning. For the QoL-Colostomy, however, there was no significant difference between the control and experimental groups. The results suggest that the use of PMRT could enhance quality of life and decrease state anxiety in patients after stoma surgery.