What matters most to adults with a tracheostomy in ICU and the implications for clinical practice: a qualitative systematic review and meta-synthesis
Purpose: Tracheostomy is a common surgical procedure in ICU. Whilst often life-saving, it can have important impacts on patients. Much of the literature on tracheostomy focuses on timing and technique of insertion, risk factors and complications. More knowledge of patient experience of tracheostomy in ICU is needed to support person-centred care. Materials and methods: Qualitative systematic review and metasynthesis of the literature on adult experience of tracheostomy in ICU. Comprehensive search of four bibliographic databases and grey literature. Title and abstract screening and full text eligibility was completed independently by two reviewers. Metasynthesis was achieved using thematic synthesis, supported by a conceptual framework of humanised care. Results: 2971 search returns were screened on title and abstract and 127 full texts assessed for eligibility. Thirteen articles were included for analysis. Five descriptive and three analytical themes were revealed. The over-arching theme was ‘To be seen and heard as a whole person’. Patients wanted to be treated as a human, and having a voice made this easier. Conclusions: Voice restoration should be given high priority in the management of adults with a tracheostomy in ICU. Staff training should focus on both technical skills and compassionate care to improve person-centred outcomes.