Investigation of the implementation of a communication enhanced environment model on an acute/slow stream rehabilitation and a rehabilitation ward: A before-and-after pilot study
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Hollywood Private Hospital Research Foundation
Australian Post Graduate Award Scholarship
Edith Cowan University
Develop and implement a Communication Enhanced Environment model and explore its effect on language activities for patients early after stroke.
Method and design:
Before-and-after pilot study.
An acute/slow stream rehabilitation and a rehabilitation ward in a private hospital in Perth, Western Australia.
Fourteen patients recruited within 21 days of stroke. Seven recruited during the before-phase (control group: patients with aphasia = 3, patients without aphasia = 4) and seven recruited in the after-phase (intervention group: patients with aphasia = 4, patients without aphasia = 3).
The intervention group exposed to a Communication Enhanced Environment model had access to equipment, resources, planned social activities and trained communication partners. Both groups received usual stroke care.
Hospital site champions monitored the availability of the intervention. Behavioural mapping completed during the first minute of each 5-minute interval over 12 hours (between 7 am and 7 pm) determined patient engagement in language activities.
Seventy-one percent of the Communication Enhanced Environment model was available to the intervention group who engaged in higher, but not significant (95% CI), levels of language activities (600 of 816 observation time points, 73%) than the control group (551 of 835 observation time points, 66%). Unforeseen reorganisation of the acute ward occurred during the study.
Implementation of a Communication Enhanced Environment model was feasible in this specific setting and may potentially influence patients’ engagement in language activities. The unforeseen contextual challenges that occurred during the study period demonstrate the challenging nature of the hospital environment and will be useful in future research planning.