Developing anxiety-reduction procedures for a ventilator-dependent pediatric patient

William J. Warzak, Lisa E. Engel, Lisa G. Bischoff, Vikki A. Stefans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study evaluated two strategies to reduce anxiety behaviors which interfered with the daily tracheostomy care and ventilator maintenance of an eight-year-old ventilator-dependent boy. A multiple-baseline design (across ventilator and tracheostomy procedures) was used to evaluate the effectiveness of an information-only procedure and combined relaxation and cognitive distraction procedures. Partial-interval recording was used to measure heart rate, disruptive mouth noises, and demands and complaints to staff members. The patient's behavior did not change during a no-intervention baseline or during the information-only condition. Cognitive distraction and relaxation procedures were introduced, first during ventilator checks and then during tracheostomy care; corresponding decreases in heart rate, mouth noises, and demands and complaints were noted. Gates were maintained at one year follow-up. Results suggest that information alone may not effectively reduce anxiety behaviors for some ventilator-dependent patients unless additional anxiety-reduction procedures are implemented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-507
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 1991


  • Anxiety
  • Coping
  • Pediatrics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Tracheostomy
  • Ventilator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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