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What can we learn from patients to improve their non-invasive ventilation experience? ‘It was unpleasant; if I was offered it again, I would do what I was told’
  1. Lutz Beckert1,2,
  2. Rachel Wiseman2,
  3. Suzanne Pitama3 and
  4. Amanda Landers1,4
  1. 1 Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand
  2. 2 Canterbury Respiratory Services, Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch, New Zealand
  3. 3 Maori/Indigenous Health Institute, University of Otago, Christchurch, New Zealand
  4. 4 Nurse Maude Hospice Palliative Care Service, Christchurch New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lutz Beckert, Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand; Lutz.Beckert{at}


Objectives Non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is widely used as a lifesaving treatment in acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; however, little is known about the patients' experience of this treatment. This study was designed to investigate the experiences and perceptions of participants using NIV. The study interprets the participants' views and explores implications for clinical practice.

Methods Participants with respiratory failure requiring NIV were interviewed 2 weeks after discharge. A grounded theory methodology was used to order and sort the data. Theoretical sufficiency was achieved after 15 participants.

Results Four themes emerged from the data: levels of discomfort with NIV, cognitive experiences with NIV, NIV as a life saver and concern for others. NIV was uncomfortable for participants and affected their cognition; they still reported considering NIV as a viable option for future treatment. Participants described a high level of trust in healthcare professionals and delegated decision-making to them regarding ongoing care.

Conclusions This study provides insights into ways clinicians could improve the physical experience for patients with NIV. It also identifies a lack of recall and delegation of decision-making, highlighting the need for clinical leadership to advocate for patients.

  • COPD
  • NIV
  • BiPAP
  • Qualitative Research
  • Patient's Perspective

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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