Caregiver strain associated with tracheostomy in chronic respiratory failure

S. Rossi Ferrario, A. M. Zotti, S. Zaccaria, C. F. Donner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Study objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychological and psychosocial impact of tracheostomy on the caregivers of patients who have undergone tracheostomies. Setting: Rehabilitation facility. Participants: Sixty-three lay caregivers of inpatients and outpatients with various underlying diseases who have undergone tracheostomies. Methods: At the beginning of the study, the 63 caregivers completed a previously validated questionnaire designed to assess the problems related to caring for patients with chronic diseases. Approximately 1 year later, 40 of the 63 caregivers completed the same questionnaire a second time. The results were analyzed statistically in order to investigate the caregivers' perceptions of the factors associated with their own particular situation. Results: The answers of the 40 subjects who completed the questionnaire twice revealed the existence of perceived strain persisting over time, which was greater in female caregivers and in those caring for patients who had had a tracheostomy for <14 months. The younger caregivers (age <59 years) and those caring for patients receiving nocturnal ventilation expressed a continuing need for information about the disease. Finally, the caregivers said that they, as well as their patients led very restricted personal lives. Conclusions: Tracheostomy causes a substantial amount of caregiver strain, which should be taken into account when deciding on any treatment plan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1498-1502
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Caregiving
  • Perceived strain
  • Tracheostomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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