Design for
Tracheostomy Care


The introduction of a tracheostomy tube means standard functions such as breathing, eating and talking are altered. Patients must learn to adapt to these changes and regain control over their health and wellbeing. Nurses provide practical lessons in post-tracheostomy self-care; however, there is a large disconnect in information management between the practical lessons that the patients receive and the materials they are given as patient hand-outs. To address this problem, this project explored the design opportunities in improving a tracheostomy patients’ educational journey. It explored the relationship between visual communication and educational content within a user-centred framework.

Qualitative data from expert interviews was analysed to help create a cohesive interactive website for tracheostomy patients to learn from. This process helped generate a design prototype that was discussed during a workshop with tracheostomy patients. New insights developed from the workshop verified assumptions and provided a further understanding of participants’ personal experiences with a tracheostomy. These results supported the use of visual communication in the educational healthcare context to improve the experiences of tracheostomy patients.

Kolo Chen