Psychosocial Implications of Patients with Tracheostomy - a Suggestive Example of Interdisciplinarity

Daniela Stan, Maria-Daniela Tuta, Alin Laurentiu Tatu


Performed urgently or out of necessity, tracheostomy is one of the most traumatic surgeries that seriously affects the patient's quality of life. It has a profound impact on the ability to communicate and on self-esteem, so that the patient can experience a storm of emotions and major changes that can affect their existence.

The patient with tracheostomy is a special patient with special needs. The care of such a patient involves a constant multidisciplinary effort supported by specialists in many fields: ENT specialists, oncologists, radiotherapists, anesthetists, neurosurgeons, general surgeons, physiotherapists, speech therapists, nutritionists especially psychotherapists.

Tracheostomy affects the basic needs of the individual: communication, nutrition, sexuality, social relationships.

Numerous studies show that patients with tracheostomy show a high level of psychological distress. Depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, frustration, alienation, isolation, tendency to suicide are the negative consequences of this mutilating surgery.

Perceived as a permanent disability, tracheostomy requires special care from a psychological point of view.

Sometimes, however, it is observed that both patients and their families are not sufficiently informed about the management of tracheostomy. Due to lack of means or staff, not enough emphasis is placed on preoperative training so that the patient fully understands both the benefits  and the disadvantages of this surgical technique. Therefore, often the patient's family, which later assumes the role of caregivers of the tracheotomized, perceives it as a burden, excessive fatigue, helplessness,  abandonment from society.

This paper aims to highlight the importance of pre- and postoperative psychological training of both the patient and his family and to demonstrate that tracheostomy care can be one of the most suggestive examples of interdisciplinarity that seeks to provide effective solutions in this regard.


tracheostomy care, psychological impairment, psychotherapy, multidisciplinary team

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