On becoming dependent on home mechanical ventilation

J Adv Nurs. 2005 Jan;49(1):33-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2004.03261.x.


Aim: The aim of this paper is to illuminate meanings of becoming dependent on home mechanical ventilator treatment.

Background: People suffering from chronic alveolar hypoventilation and requiring home mechanical ventilation represent a small but increasing group in society, and are some of the most vulnerable individuals with chronic disabilities.

Method: Thirteen people about to begin ventilator treatment at home were interviewed. Data were tape-recorded and analysed according to a phenomenological-hermeneutic method.

Findings: Findings revealed two contrasting meanings of being in the process of becoming dependent on a ventilator, interpreted as getting breath or holding breath. This interpretation is presented in two composite stories.

Conclusions: The findings imply possibilities and deficiencies in meeting patients' existential needs, such as helping them to breathe spiritually by supporting them as they get their breath after such a life-changing event as becoming dependent on a ventilator.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Attitude to Health
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Home Nursing / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Narration*
  • Respiration Disorders / psychology*
  • Respiration Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Respiration, Artificial / nursing
  • Respiration, Artificial / psychology*
  • Sweden / epidemiology