Prevalence and associated factors of pneumonia in patients with vegetative state in Taiwan
Article first published online: 5 APR 2007
© 2007 The Authors
Journal of Clinical Nursing
Volume 17, Issue 7, pages 861–868, April 2008
How to Cite
Lin, L.-C., Hsieh, P.-C. and Wu, S.-C. (2008), Prevalence and associated factors of pneumonia in patients with vegetative state in Taiwan. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 17: 861–868. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2006.01883.x
- Issue published online: 5 MAR 2008
- Article first published online: 5 APR 2007
- Submitted for publication: 27 June 2006 Accepted for publication: 5 October 2006
- long-term care;
- nasogastric tube;
- persistent vegetative states;
Aims. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence rate and influencing factors of pneumonia associated with long-term tube feeding in special care units for patients with persistent vegetative states (PVS) in Taiwan.
Background. Pneumonia is a significant cause of morbidity, hospitalization and mortality in the nursing home population. Tube feeding has been found as a risk factor for the occurrence of pneumonia.
Methods. Two hundred sixty subjects were chosen from three hospital-based special care units for patients with PVS and 10 nursing facilities for persons in PVS in Taiwan. All subjects, who were diagnosed with PVS, received either financial aid for institutional care or were means-tested from The Bureau of Social Welfare of cities and counties in Taiwan. Data were collected through chart review and observations.
Results. The prevalence rate of pneumonia in nursing facilities for patients with PVS was 14·2%. The prevalence rate of tube-feeding in nursing facilities for PVS was 91·2%. The mean duration of tube-feeding was 73·21 SD 55·33 months. A total of 90·4% was fed with a nasogastric (NG) tube. Having a lower intake of food and fluids daily and having been institutionalized for a shorter period were three dominant factors associated with the occurrence of pneumonia.
Conclusion. Research findings reveal that the incidence of pneumonia is higher in patients who do not receive adequate food and water. Continuing in-service training to improve caregivers’ knowledge and skill in providing care to patients in PVS and monitoring their skills in feeding is needed to decrease the occurrence of pneumonia in this population.
Relevance to clinical practice. Staff needs to be taught to monitor laboratory data and signs and symptoms of malnutrition and hydration deficit, and also be alert to early indicators of pneumonia in patients with PVS.