Communicating with individuals receiving home mechanical ventilation : the experiences of key communication partners

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: The aim of the study was to explore the communication experiences of key communications partners (CPs) of individuals receiving home mechanical ventilation (HMV), with particular emphasis on the possibilities, difficulties and limitations CPs experienced in communication, possible support given to facilitate communication and exploring what made a skilled communicator. Method: A qualitative research design using interviews was used. The participants included 19 key CPs of individuals receiving HMV. Results: The analysis resulted in five themes: Encountering communication limitations, Functional communication strategies, Being a communication facilitator, Role insecurity and Emotional reactions and coping. The findings revealed that CPs needed to develop partly new reference frames for communication. In particular, participants emphasised the need to understand and interpret subtle details in the communicative interaction. Conclusions: The findings are discussed in the light of previous research, in particular an earlier study exploring another perspective; the ventilator-supported individuals' experiences of communication. Issues relating to the educational needs of CPs of individuals receiving HMV are discussed. The results are intended to enhance understanding of the challenges that individuals receiving HMV and their CPs face with communication, which should be of relevance not only to speech therapists, but for all healthcare practitioners in the field of HMV.


  • Katja Laakso
  • Agneta Markstrom
  • Christina Havstam
  • Markus Idvall
  • Lena Hartelius
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified


  • Communication partner, home mechanical ventilation, qualitative content, analysis, speech therapy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-883
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Ethnology (015006051), The Vårdal Institute (016540000)