Nursing the patient with severe communication impairment

Hemsley, Bronwyn, Sigafoos, Jeff, Balandin, Susan, Forbes, Ralph, Taylor, Christine, Green, Vanessa A. and Parmenter, Trevor 2001, Nursing the patient with severe communication impairment, Journal of advanced nursing, vol. 35, no. 6, pp. 827-835, doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2648.2001.01920.x.

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Title Nursing the patient with severe communication impairment
Author(s) Hemsley, Bronwyn
Sigafoos, Jeff
Balandin, SusanORCID iD for Balandin, Susan
Forbes, Ralph
Taylor, Christine
Green, Vanessa A.
Parmenter, Trevor
Journal name Journal of advanced nursing
Volume number 35
Issue number 6
Start page 827
End page 835
Total pages 9
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2001
ISSN 0309-2402
Keyword(s) Augmentative and alternative communication
Barriers to effective communication
Communication strategies
Developmental and acquired disability
Hospital care
Nurse-patient communication
Severe communication impairment
Structured interviews
Summary Background. Effective communication with patients is critical to effective nursing practice. Surprisingly, there is little information on nurses' experiences in caring for patients who are unable to speak. Purpose and method. This study provides descriptive information from interviews with 20 nurses who cared for patients with severe communication impairment. The interview protocol explored positive and negative experiences of nursing patients with severe communication impairment. Frequency counts and descriptive analyses were conducted to identify the major themes emerging from the interviews. Results. The results suggest that nurse-patient communication is difficult when the patient has severe communication impairment, although some nurses discovered effective strategies to facilitate communication with such patients. Many of the difficulties could be viewed as a breakdown in understanding arising from the lack of a readily interpretable communication system that could be used by nurse and patient. Conclusions. The results suggest a need for training nurses in the use of alternative modes of communication. Nurses also need access to a variety of simple augmentative communication devices for use with patients who are unable to speak. Finally, nurses should collaborate with speech pathologists on the development of preadmission information and bedside training for people who are admitted to hospital with severe communication impairment.
Language eng
DOI 10.1046/j.1365-2648.2001.01920.x
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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