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Health care professionals' characterizations of the system of care for long-term ventilator-dependent patients: a preliminary study



Health care professionals' characterizations of the system of care for long-term ventilator-dependent patients: a preliminary study



Journal of Health and Social Policy 6(2): 51-70



The purpose of this study was to characterize, from multiple professional perspectives, current management approaches and systems of care for long-term ventilator-dependent patients. This study was preliminary in nature and served to generate questions to be explored with subsequent research. A focus group methodology was used. Three focus sessions were held, with participants representing nursing, social services, and respiratory therapy. Field notes were recorded by two independent observers. The primary themes arising from the narrative data were: (i) caregiver impact, (ii) system barriers to appropriate care, (iii) communication difficulties among professionals and between patients and professionals, (iv) ethical concerns, and (v) patient characteristics that influence medical management and patient outcomes. Implications include the need for systematic research regarding caregiver impact, ethical practice of health care professionals, and the epidemiology of ventilator dependency, as well as evaluative studies of different system approaches to caring for these patients.

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Accession: 046218546

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PMID: 10141131


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