University of Hertfordshire


  • Helen Newman
  • Daniel Martin
  • Sarah Wallace
  • Christina Smith
  • Gemma Clunie
  • Natalie Pattison
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Original languageEnglish
Article number154145
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Critical Care
Early online date26 Sep 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Sep 2022


Purpose: Tracheostomy is a common surgical procedure in ICU. Whilst often a life-saving procedure, 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.

Keywords: tracheostomy, voice, qualitative, systematic review, metasynthesis, humanisation


© 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license:

ID: 31722983