Factors influencing weaning older adults from mechanical ventilation: An integrative review

Karen V. Stieff, Fidelindo Lim, Leon Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aim was to describe the influences that affect weaning from mechanical ventilation among older adults in the intensive care unit (ICU). Adults older than 65 years comprised only 14.5% of the US population in 2014; however, they accounted up to 45% of all ICU admissions. As this population grows, the number of ICU admissions is expected to increase. One of the most common procedures for hospitalized adults 75 years and older is mechanical ventilation. An integrative review methodology was applied to analyze and synthesize primary research reports. A search for the articles was performed using the PubMed and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) databases; using the keywords and Boolean operators "older adults," "weaning," "mechanical ventilation," and intensive care unit. Although physiologic changes that occur with aging place older adults at higher risk for respiratory complications and mortality, there are many factors, other than chronological age, that can determine a patient's ability to be successfully weaned from mechanical ventilation. Of the 6 studies reviewed, all identified various predictors of weaning outcome, which included maximal inspiratory pressure, rapid shallow breathing index, fluid balance, comorbidity burden, severity of illness, emphysematous changes, and low serum albumin. Age, in and of itself, is not a predictor of weaning from mechanical ventilation. More studies are needed to describe the influences affecting weaning older adults from mechanical ventilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-177
Number of pages13
JournalCritical care nursing quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017


  • Geriatrics
  • Intensive care unit
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Older adults
  • Weaning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care


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