ERIC Number: EJ1097834
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Exploratory Investigation of Communication Management in Residential-Aged Care: A Comparison of Staff Knowledge, Documentation and Observed Resident-Staff Communication
Bennett, Michelle K.; Ward, Elizabeth C.; Scarinci, Nerina A.
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v51 n3 p296-309 May 2016
Background: There is a high prevalence of communication difficulty among older people living in residential-aged care. Such functional deficits can have a negative impact on resident quality of life, staff workplace satisfaction and the provision of quality care. Systematic research investigating the nature of communication management in residential-aged care and factors impacting optimal communication management is lacking. Aims: To use data triangulation across multiple sources to describe resident--staff communication and communication management in residential-aged care. Methods & Procedures: Participants included a sample of 14 residents and 29 staff directly involved in communication interactions with residents. Data were obtained from: (1) resident file review (n = 14), (2) observation of resident-staff communication (n = 14), (3) resident surveys (n = 14) and (4) staff surveys (n = 29). Data from each source were examined separately then triangulated. Outcomes & Results: All residents had limited opportunity for meaningful communication with staff. Documentation of residents' communication needs and strategies to facilitate resident-staff communication was insufficient to provide individualized recommendations. Although staff were observed to use various strategies to facilitate communication with residents, staff agreement about the applicability of these strategies to individual residents was inconsistent. Differences in resident-staff communication for residents who experience nil/mild versus moderate/severe communication difficulty were also found. Conclusions & Implications: Resident-staff communication and communication management in residential-aged care is limited in scope and challenged in meeting residents' individual communication needs. Improvements in both documentation and staff knowledge of residents' communication needs are necessary. Strategies to facilitate communication with individual residents must be tailored, evidence based, documented in care plans and delivered to staff through ongoing education. Increased involvement of specialist providers such as speech pathologists to support better communication management in residential-aged care may provide one way of facilitating such change.
Descriptors: Communication Problems, Older Adults, Residential Care, Quality of Life, Caregivers, Interpersonal Relationship, Observation, Interpersonal Communication, Severity (of Disability)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A