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Ventilator dependent young people had unnecessarily prolonged time in hospital resulting in educational and social exclusion

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QUESTION: What are young peoples' views and experiences of their health and social care when they are dependent on a ventilator?






18 participants aged 6–18 years (56% boys) who were ventilator dependent. 9 participants had spinal injury, and 9 had a congenital diagnosis.


Face to face focused interviews were done with the 18 participants where they lived and with the family members of 15 participants. Because some participants had communication impairments, alternative methods (eg, draw or play), caregiver help, and interpreters were used when needed. Interviews were reflexive and explored participants' health, social, environmental, and educational needs, and their future aspirations. The researcher took or obtained photographs and other materials, and kept a field diary. Interviews were taped, transcribed, and analysed for thematic content. A graphic artist was used to …

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  • Source of funding: the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

  • For correspondence: Ms J Noyes, Department of Nursing, Peel House, Albert Street, Manchester M30 0NN, UK. J.Noyes{at}