To evaluate the feasibility and impact of implementing the “study of patient–nurse effectiveness with assisted communication
); a program to facilitate communication
with nonvocal patients.
The plan-do-study-act quality improvement methodology guided the implementation of a modified SPEACS-2
program within a pre and posttest design. The Ease of Communication
Scale (ECS) measured patients' communication
difficulty, and care processes measured the program's success.
= 385) across 5 intensive care units were trained in SPEACS-2
. We assessed 354 nonvocal patients (aged 18–95 years) requiring continued mechanical ventilation after withdrawal of heavy sedation. Patients were evaluated over one 2-week preintervention (n
= 163) and two 3-week postintervention periods (n
= 128; n
= 63). A subsample of intervention patients (n
= 204) completed the ECS.
Ease of Communication
Scale scores improved significantly (p
= .027) from baseline (mean 25.86 ± 12.2, n
= 71) to postintervention period 2 (21.22 ± 12.2, n
= 63). Nurses' use of communication
techniques and compliance with communication
plans of care incrementally increased after training.
demonstrated positive changes in patients' ease of communication
and feasibility of incorporating evidence-based communication
strategies into practice.