Understanding living with tracheostomy ventilation for motor neuron disease and the implications for quality of life: a qualitative study protocol
Wilson E., Turner N., Faull C., Palmer J., Turner MR., Davidson S.
IntroductionHome mechanical ventilation can be used to manage symptoms of breathlessness and sustain life for people living with motor neuron disease (plwMND). In the UK, less than 1% of plwMND use tracheostomy ventilation (TV). This contrasts with some other countries, where rates are much higher. Due to a lack of evidence about its feasibility, cost-effectiveness or outcomes, TV is not covered in the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance. Most plwMND receiving TV in the UK do so as an unplanned crisis intervention, which can lead to a prolonged hospital stay while a complex care package is arranged. There is insufficient literature addressing the burdens and benefits of TV, how it should be initiated and delivered, and how future care choices for plwMND can be supported. The aim of this research is to provide new understandings of the experiences of plwMND using TV, and those of family members and healthcare professionals (HCPs) involved in their care.Methods and analysisA UK-wide qualitative study with two workstreams: (1) Patient focused case studies (n=6) including plwMND, family members and HCPs to focus on experiences and tasks of daily living from multiple perspectives. (2) Interviews with plwMND (n=10), family members, including bereaved family members (n=10) and HCPs (n=20) on broader experiences and issues relating to use of TV, such as ethical considerations and decision making.Ethics and disseminationEthical approval has been granted by the Leicester South Research Ethics Committee (22/EM/0256). All participants will be asked to provide electronic, written and/or audio recorded informed consent. Study findings will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations and used to develop new resources for teaching and public information.