School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Poster Number

281

Document Type

Poster

Status

Graduate Student - Doctoral

Abstract Category

Health Services

Keywords

Communication, Multidisciplinary, Traumatic Brain Injury, Disorders of Consciousness

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to understand how clinicians who work with patients with disorders of consciousness (DoC) following traumatic brain injury (TBI) communicate about patients’ behavior regarding changes in consciousness. Communication and collaboration among multidisciplinary teams is central for person-centered rehabilitation and clinical progress. A deficiency in person-centeredness may decrease the quality of care a patient receives (Epstein & Street, 2007). This process is more complicated in patients with DoC since these patients are unable to participate in the dialog (Papadimitriou & Cott, 2015). This qualitative analysis explores unique challenges clinicians face communicating with team members when treating patients with DoC following TBI in inpatient rehabilitation.

A grounded theory interview study explored how clinician’s perceive they communicate patients’ changes in consciousness with team members (Green & Thorogood, 2014). Three hospital systems recruited twenty-one clinicians who have experience working with DoC patients.

Clinicians participated in semi-structured interviews with two trained interviewers. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and NVivo 11 Plus software was used for open coding. The team developed a codebook using thematic analysis and constant comparative strategies to finalize the codebook (Glaser, 1965).

Three major themes emerged: 1) clinicians’ difficulty interpreting patients’ behaviors of change in consciousness, 2) a lack of confidence when selecting a treatment, and 3) an uncertainty of how to leverage caregivers’ interpretation of patients’ behaviors. For example, the data describes challenges clinical teams face in discharge planning. A social worker perceives the caregiver to agree on what it takes to bring their family member home while the occupational therapist did not share this perception. The social worker tried to convey to the team that the caregiver was equipped to take the patient home, “I was turning blue in the face communicating to the team that I did strongly feel that his [caregiver] had a reasonable expectation and an understanding of the severity of his deficit”. This exemplifies how each discipline has a different vantage point surrounding a complex task such as discharge planning.

Communication challenges for clinicians treating patients with DoC were grounded within the three themes, which conveyed uncertainty with interpreting patients’ behaviors and linking it to clinical progress, a lack of research to support interventions, and being cautious when talking to family. Uncovering how clinicians make sense of patient’s behaviors and how they communicate these behaviors can aide in creating a foundation for improving the exchange of information and person-centered rehabilitation.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Open Access

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Presented at GW Annual Research Days 2018.

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Communication Among Multidisciplinary Team Members Treating Patients with Disorders of Consciousness Following Traumatic Brain Injury

The purpose of this research is to understand how clinicians who work with patients with disorders of consciousness (DoC) following traumatic brain injury (TBI) communicate about patients’ behavior regarding changes in consciousness. Communication and collaboration among multidisciplinary teams is central for person-centered rehabilitation and clinical progress. A deficiency in person-centeredness may decrease the quality of care a patient receives (Epstein & Street, 2007). This process is more complicated in patients with DoC since these patients are unable to participate in the dialog (Papadimitriou & Cott, 2015). This qualitative analysis explores unique challenges clinicians face communicating with team members when treating patients with DoC following TBI in inpatient rehabilitation.

A grounded theory interview study explored how clinician’s perceive they communicate patients’ changes in consciousness with team members (Green & Thorogood, 2014). Three hospital systems recruited twenty-one clinicians who have experience working with DoC patients.

Clinicians participated in semi-structured interviews with two trained interviewers. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and NVivo 11 Plus software was used for open coding. The team developed a codebook using thematic analysis and constant comparative strategies to finalize the codebook (Glaser, 1965).

Three major themes emerged: 1) clinicians’ difficulty interpreting patients’ behaviors of change in consciousness, 2) a lack of confidence when selecting a treatment, and 3) an uncertainty of how to leverage caregivers’ interpretation of patients’ behaviors. For example, the data describes challenges clinical teams face in discharge planning. A social worker perceives the caregiver to agree on what it takes to bring their family member home while the occupational therapist did not share this perception. The social worker tried to convey to the team that the caregiver was equipped to take the patient home, “I was turning blue in the face communicating to the team that I did strongly feel that his [caregiver] had a reasonable expectation and an understanding of the severity of his deficit”. This exemplifies how each discipline has a different vantage point surrounding a complex task such as discharge planning.

Communication challenges for clinicians treating patients with DoC were grounded within the three themes, which conveyed uncertainty with interpreting patients’ behaviors and linking it to clinical progress, a lack of research to support interventions, and being cautious when talking to family. Uncovering how clinicians make sense of patient’s behaviors and how they communicate these behaviors can aide in creating a foundation for improving the exchange of information and person-centered rehabilitation.

 

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