Communication with patients in post-traumatic confusional state: Perception of rehabilitation staff

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Objective: People in Post-Traumatic Confusional State (PTCS) present with communication difficulties that are well described in literature. However, limited study has been conducted on the experiences of their communication partners. The current study aimed to understand the experience of rehabilitation staff of their communication with patients in PTCS prior to communication partner training (CPT).
Methods: Staff on a subacute inpatient TBI rehabilitation unit were invited to complete a 10-item questionnaire. The questionnaire contained quantitative and open-ended text response formats, analyzed with descriptive statistics and content analysis, respectively.
Results: 78 interdisciplinary staff members completed the questionnaire. The majority of staff found communication to be difficult and time-consuming with half not feeling comfortable communicating with patients in PTCS. Confidence in communication was not associated with length of clinical experience. The majority of staff reported utilizing strategies to support communication, largely focused on augmenting activities with supportive objects and ensuring patient’s comprehension through modification of verbal language.
Conclusions: Staff are aware of the need for creating a structured environment for patients in PTCS and less aware of communication-specific strategies aiming at helping patients’ expression, which underlines the need to emphasize these strategies as part of CPT in this type of setting.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Injury
Number of pages28
ISSN0269-9052
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2020

ID: 234299574