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
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
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.
causes a substantial amount of caregiver strain, which should be taken
into account when deciding on any treatment plan.