Care practices for patients requiring mechanical ventilation more than seven days in Swedish intensive care units: A national survey

Carl Johan Cederwall*, Louise Rose, Silvana Naredi, Sepideh Olausson, Mona Ringdal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To identify care practices in Swedish intensive care units specific to patients requiring mechanical ventilation for >7 days. Research Methodology: We conducted a national cross-sectional survey inviting all adult Swedish ICUs (n = 79). Nurse managers were invited by email to complete a questionnaire by telephone. The questionnaire included seven domains: ventilator weaning, mobilisation, communication, nutrition, symptom assessment, psychosocial support and organisational characteristics. Results: We received responses from 77 units (response rate, 97%). Weaning protocols were available in 42 (55%) units, 52 (68%) used individualised weaning strategies and 50 (65%) involved physicians and nurses in collaborative decision making. In 48 units (62%), early mobilisation was prioritised using bed cycling but only 26 (34%) units had mobilisation protocols. Most of the intensive care units (74, 96%) had nutrition protocols but only 2 (3%) had dedicated dieticians. Delirium screening tools were available in 49 (64%) ICUs, 3 (4%) assessed anxiety and none assessed dyspnoea. Nineteen (25%) units employed a primary nursing model and 11 (14%) indicated person-centred care policies. Regular case conferences, including family participation, were held by 39 (51%) units. Conclusion: We found that an individualised approach to ventilator weaning, decided by physicians and nurses in collaboration, was the predominant approach, although weaning protocols were available in some intensive care units. Most units prioritised early mobilisation, though few used protocols. Nutritional protocols were widely adopted, as few units had a dedicated dietician.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103309
JournalIntensive and Critical Care Nursing
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Clinical protocols
  • Critical care
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Prolonged mechanical ventilation
  • Ventilator weaning


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