Quality assessment of inhospital patients unable to speak who use alternative and extended communication
To implement the use of alternative communication boards in patients hospitalized and unable to communicate by speech.
A descriptive study with a sample of 30 patients hospitalized and unable to communicate by speech. Boards were made with Boardmaker® Software that consists of a graphical database containing Pictorial Communication Symbols. To assess the quality of life of these patients, the Portuguese SF-36, a translated version of the Medical Outcomes Study, was applied before and after the study.
We found that all domains of the SF-36 showed changes after the application of communication boards. We observed that the minimum score was assigned to the mental health domain, whereas the most affected and with greatest involvement and least compromise was the overall health status.
The quality of life assessment of patients showed improvement with the use of communication boards, demonstrating the importance and necessity of communication between the patient and staff and the patient and family members.