Meanings of living at home on a ventilator

Nurs Inq. 2003 Mar;10(1):19-27. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1800.2003.00160.x.


Nine adults were interviewed in order to illuminate the meanings of being dependent on a ventilator and living at home. The data were analysed using a phenomenological-hermeneutic method inspired by the philosophy of Ricoeur. Five main themes emerged through the analysis: experiencing home as a safe and comfortable space from which to reach out, experiencing the body as being frail, brave and resilient, striving to live in the present, surrendering oneself to and trusting others, and experiencing technology as a burden and a relief to the lived body. Meanings of being home on a ventilator were interpreted as maintaining autonomy and persistence in interaction with the ventilator and other human beings and being able to rise above yourself and your personal boundaries in order to live a good life. These meanings indicate that aesthetic and ethical values impact on the lived body. They are bound up with experiencing a vital force and interdependency, bringing safety and courage into daily life.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Home Care Services*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Respiration, Artificial* / psychology
  • Sweden