Creating communicatively accessible healthcare environments: Perceptions of speech-language pathologists (short summary)


Evidence is growing of the need to make changes in healthcare settings to support people who have communication difficulties, but it is unclear whose responsibility this should be. This study used focus groups to investigate the views of fifteen speech and language pathologists (SLPs) in one Australian state about whether they felt able to take on the role of modifying the wider healthcare environment and whether they believed it was part of their remit alone or should be shared more widely with other professionals.

The SLPs recognised the 'great potential of communicatively accessible environments' but felt that they could not create these without wider support. The authors agree with the suggestion that there could be a role for a 'public health communication professional' to develop better provision for patients who have communication disabilities.

Further work is needed to look into the development of 'communication resource toolkits' for use in hospitals and to engage all staff in training and support for using the systems, particularly where enabling patients to communicate more effectively might impact on the workload of nursing or healthcare staff by increasing the demands made on them.

Things you may want to look into:

Communication boards in critical care: patients' views

A systematic review of the effectiveness of nurse communication with patients with complex communication needs with a focus on the use of augmentative and alternative communication

Light Technology Augmentative Communication for Acute Care and Rehab Settings

SPEACS-2: Intensive Care Unit 'Communication Rounds' with Speech Language Pathology

Nursing the patient with severe communication impairment

Added to site Dec 2015