Analysis of shared cognitive tasks in the application of non-invasive ventilation to patients with COPD exacerbation

Author Department

Healthcare Quality; Medicine; Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date



Interprofessional teamwork plays a key role in the uptake of evidence-based interventions, such as noninvasive ventilation (NIV) for patients with exacerbated Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). We aimed to identify the shared cognitive tasks in interprofessional teams using NIV for patients with COPD exacerbation. We used a cognitive task analysis approach (CTA) to engage nurses, rapid response team members, respiratory therapists, and physicians involved in the use of NIV to treat patients with COPD exacerbation. Clinicians participated in a semi-structured interview (n = 21) that elicited cognitions needed to treat COPD exacerbation. Three shared cognitive tasks were identified: Complete a thorough assessment, Formulate a care plan, and Continuously monitor patient status. Findings attest to the importance of having access to up-to-date information and expertise necessary to make accurate clinical inferences for patient assessment. Shared understanding of the formulated care plan among all members of the care team was important to its execution. Continuous monitoring was crucial; however, this cognitive task relied on patient assessment skills and ongoing collaboration within the clinical care team. Application of NIV for patients with COPD exacerbation may require enhancing collaboration through nontechnical skills and interprofessional training.

Keywords: COPD; Noninvasive ventilation; cognitive task analysis.