The perceptions and preferences of parents of children with tracheostomies in a study of humidification therapy

J Child Health Care. 2009 Sep;13(3):179-97. doi: 10.1177/1367493509336686.


This article reports a grounded theory study which was the qualitative phase of a randomized-controlled trial in children with tracheostomies comparing two techniques for providing humidified inspired gases. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight mothers of children with tracheostomies recruited from the trial, one mother who was not involved in the trial and four experienced nurses. Data were analysed using open, selective and theoretical coding. A core category was identified of parents managing the child's care in response to a set of problematic and constraining states. Parents were seen to utilize strategies of constant checking, becoming the expert, the family pulling together and electing to use preferred technology. The findings of this study mirror those of previous studies and reinforce the primacy of caregivers as managers of their child's health care. Mothers elected to use or not use a given technology within this context, utilizing a process of balancing.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Caregivers
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Decision Making
  • Female
  • Home Care Services
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Humidity*
  • Infant
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Nurses
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Qualitative Research
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Social Perception*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Tracheostomy*