Authors: van Rijssen M, Veldkamp M, Meilof L, van Ewijk L
Title: Feasibility of a communication program: improving communication between nurses and persons with aphasia in a peripheral hospital
Source: Aphasiology 2019 33(11): 1393-1409
Year: 2019
Research Design: Case Series

Background: Difficulty in communicating (due to aphasia) can have serious consequences for patients in health care settings. Communication Partner Training is effective for improving communication between people with aphasia and health care professionals.Aim and Objective: This study aims to evaluate the feasibility of developing and introducing a Communication Program which focuses on improving communication between nurses and persons with aphasia in a peripheral hospital setting.Methods & Procedures: A mixed-methods feasibility study was conducted with a pre-test post-test design in the quantitative part and two focus group discussions in the qualitative part. Nurses received training for communicating with persons with aphasia. In the pre-test and post-test, nurses filled in a questionnaire for barriers and facilitators and a feasibility questionnaire. Nurses? attitudes towards the Communication Program were further explored in two focus group discussions.Outcomes & Results: Forty six nurses took part in the training sessions. Most nurses were satisfied about the Communication Program (24/30) and intended to continue using it (25/30). Almost all nurses saw positive effects for patients with aphasia (27/30), such as an increase in the ability to communicate. However, nurses reported that using the program was time consuming and that they still often experienced frustration when communicating with persons with aphasia.Conclusions: Improving communication with persons with aphasia via the Communication Program seems feasible and valuable according to nurses. Nurses probably need more support during implementation of the Communication Program, mainly due to time barriers and the complexity of communicating with persons with aphasia. Further research should focus on revising the program, training health care professionals with different educational backgrounds, and assessing the implementation of this communication partner training in health care settings.

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