Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Mary Jo Grap


Critically ill patients who require MV are at risk for a number of complications, including the development of ventilator-associated events (VAE) and agitation that may require the use of sedation. Patients experience anxiety and discomfort during mechanical ventilation from a variety of sources including unfamiliar breathing assistance and an inability to communicate anxiety and pain verbally, but a primary cause of discomfort identified by these patients is the simply the presence of the endotracheal tube (ETT). Discomfort often leads to agitation and may be exacerbated by ETT movement. Management of agitation typically involves the use of sedative therapy and has been shown to increase the length of stay in the hospital. Additionally, when ETT cuff pressure is not adequately maintained, risk of microaspiration increases and these microaspirations increase the risk of ventilator-associated events. ETT movement may adversely affect the cuff seal against the tracheal mucosa, increasing leakage around the cuff and microaspiration. To date, no studies have described the effect of ETT movement on patient comfort and agitation. Noting the frequency of ETT movement during the provision of nursing care and plausible inadvertent consequences on discomfort and agitation, a research model was created and specific instruments selected in order to study this topic. This dissertation will provide a review of the literature regarding the role of the ETT in microaspiration, as well as detail a study that explores the frequency and amount of ETT movement and its potential effect on agitation.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2014

Included in

Nursing Commons