Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Karen Stefaniak

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Ashley Montgomery-Yates

Committee Member

Dr. Paula Halcomb


Background: A tracheostomy is an operative procedure performed to create a stable surgical airway for patients with respiratory compromise due to a variety of clinical reasons. Living with a tracheostomy has tremendous impact on the patient as they experience alterations in their ability to eat, speak, breathe normally, and care for themselves. There is also a potential negative impact to their quality of life. Under ideal circumstances, the tracheostomy is a planned event and education is given to the patient prior to the procedure in an effort to lessen the impact and prepare them to cope with the expected life changes. However, in the acute care hospital setting, placing the tracheostomy has most often not been discussed prior to hospitalization, and frequently patient education is hindered by severity of illness and time constraints of clinical staff. An education initiative to impact self-care knowledge while the patient is still hospitalized is needed and may have a lasting impression on the patients’ perceived quality of life.

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to examine the impact of an education intervention on the perceived quality of life for adult patients living with a tracheostomy.

Methods: This study design was a single sample, longitudinal cohort. The data from a tracheostomy related quality of life questionnaire was evaluated during hospitalization and intended to be re-evaluated at approximately 30 days post-discharge. The data were analyzed for correlation coefficients and via independent samples t-tests.

Results: The results of this study indicate a significant difference in tracheostomy related quality of life based on gender, age, and if the procedure was planned prior to hospital admission. Additionally, while not statistically significant, several strong correlations emerged from the data related to education level and age with various aspects of tracheostomy related quality of life.

Conclusions: While limited by small sample size, the findings of this study suggest further research is warranted. Specifically, anecdotal findings indicate variations in tracheostomy care delivery between surgical services and nursing staff, and effort should be made to understand these variations in hopes to standardize and improve care.

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