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Impact of COVID-19 on carers of children with tracheostomies

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nicola HallORCiD, David Hamilton, Professor John SimpsonORCiD, Steven Powell, Dr Malcolm Brodlie, Jason PowellORCiD


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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. OBJECTIVES: To explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the experiences of caregivers of children with tracheostomies. DESIGN: Qualitative semistructured interviews. SETTING: All participants were currently, or had previously cared for, a tracheostomised child who had attended a tertiary care centre in the North of England. Health professionals were purposively sampled to include accounts from a range of professions from primary, community, secondary and tertiary care. PARTICIPANTS: Carers of children with tracheostomies (n=34), including health professionals (n=17) and parents (n=17). INTERVENTIONS: Interviews were undertaken between July 2020 and February 2021 by telephone or video link. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Qualitative reflexive thematic analysis with QSR NVivo V.12. RESULTS: The pandemic has presented an additional and, for some, substantial challenge when caring for tracheostomised children, but this was not always felt to be the most overriding concern. Interviews demonstrated rapid adaptation, normalisation and varying degrees of stoicism and citizenship around constantly changing pandemic-related requirements, rules and regulations. This paper focuses on four key themes: 'reconceptualising safe care and safe places'; 'disrupted support and isolation'; 'relationships, trust and communication'; and 'coping with uncertainty and shifting boundaries of responsibility'. These are described within the context of the impact on the child, the emotional and physical well-being of carers and the challenges to maintaining the values of family-centred care. CONCLUSIONS: As we move to the next phase of the pandemic, we need to understand the impact on vulnerable groups so that their needs can be prioritised.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hall N, Rousseau N, Hamilton DW, Simpson AJ, Powell S, Brodlie M, Powell J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Archives of Disease in Childhood

Year: 2022

Volume: 107

Issue: 3

Print publication date: 01/03/2022

Online publication date: 09/12/2021

Acceptance date: 24/11/2021

ISSN (print): 0003-9888

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2044

Publisher: BMJ Group


DOI: 10.1136/archdischild-2021-322979

PubMed id: 34887248


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