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Ventilator Users: Independent Living and Quality of Life

Nosek MA, Holmes SA. Ventilator users: Independent living and quality of life. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America 1996;7(2):445-56.


Contrary to prevailing opinion, a life of quality and independence is possible for persons who use ventilators. Pioneers in the independent living movement, many of whom use ventilators, paved the way for the creation of opportunities for independence for ventilator users and others with disabilities. Every opportunity, however, is dependent on personal, interpersonal, social, and environmental factors. This article presents a heuristic model for examining independent living that was derived from the philosophy underlying the independent living movement. It also discusses research on quality of life for persons who use mechanical ventilation and analyzes the issues of quality of life and independent living that face this population. The authors draw on their experiences as ventilator users and as rehabilitation researcher and clinician, respectively.

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