Nurses' perspectives on alternative communication strategies use in critical care units

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dc.contributor.author Johnson, Ensa
dc.contributor.author Heyns, Tanya
dc.contributor.author Nilsson, Stefan
dc.date.accessioned 2021-02-26T12:24:08Z
dc.date.issued 2021
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND : Critically ill patients have the right to communicate and participate in their treatment to avoid adverse medical outcomes due to the severity of their illness, their responsiveness, and level of consciousness. This human right has often been neglected by health care professionals, as a result of limited alternative communication support provided to patients who are unable to speak due to, for example, endotracheal intubation. Despite the successful use of alternative communication strategies in critical care units (CCUs) in other countries, limited implementation in South African hospitals has been reported. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES : This study aimed to determine the perspectives of South African nurses working in CCUs on the frequency of use of alternative communication strategies to support patient‐centred communication with critically ill adult patients. DESIGN : The study followed a quantitative non‐experimental survey research design. METHODS : A total of 210 nurses working in both private and public hospitals completed a survey on their perspectives on the use of alternative communication strategies in CCUs. RESULTS : Nurse participants reported experience working with critically ill and communication‐vulnerable patients. Nurse–patient communication mainly involved the use of pen and paper, facial expressions and gestures to obtain information relating to patients' needs and their health history. Limited use of speech‐generating communication devices was reported. CONCLUSION : Nurse training on the use and implementation of alternative communication strategies, such as communication boards or electronic speech‐generating devices, should be investigated to improve nurses' communication with communication‐vulnerable patients in South Africa. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE : The results are applicable in clinical practice due to patients' need for alternative communication. The nurses mainly used low‐tech solutions, which are cheap and easy to access. However, there exists an opportunity to increase the use of available digital solutions. en_ZA
dc.description.department Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC) en_ZA
dc.description.department Nursing Science en_ZA
dc.description.embargo 2022-02-24
dc.description.librarian hj2021 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship University of Pretoria en_ZA
dc.description.uri https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/14785153 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Johnson, E., Heyns, T. & Nilsson, SN. 2021, 'Nurses' perspectives on alternative communication strategies use in critical care units', Nursing in Critical Care, https://doi.org/10.1111/nicc.12612. NYP. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 1362-1017 (print)
dc.identifier.issn 1478-5153 (online)
dc.identifier.other 10.1111/nicc.12612
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/78868
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Wiley en_ZA
dc.rights © 2021 British Association of Critical Care Nurses. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article : 'Nurses' perspectives on alternative communication strategies use in critical care units', Nursing in Critical Care, vol. , no. , pp. , 2021, doi : 10.1111/nicc.12612. The definite version is available at : https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/14785153. en_ZA
dc.subject Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) en_ZA
dc.subject Communication board en_ZA
dc.subject Communication vulnerable en_ZA
dc.subject Nurse–patient communication en_ZA
dc.title Nurses' perspectives on alternative communication strategies use in critical care units en_ZA
dc.type Postprint Article en_ZA


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