Evaluation of a Novel Communication Application From Nurses’ Perspectives

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The purpose of this article is to report usability of a computer application, Speak for Myself, from nurses’ perspectives. This was a one-group exploratory survey. Nurses included patients in the study who were older than 18 years, could write and speak English, were unable to verbalize needs for any reason, and had a specified sedation-agitation scale (−1 to +1). Patients were excluded if they were younger than 18, could not write and/or speak English, or had a Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale score exceeding −1 to +1. Twelve RNs from various ICUs in two hospitals in South Florida participated in the study. A person who was a supervisor or clinical specialist was chosen in each participating unit and at each hospital for recruitment of patient participants. Five nurses (41.6%) stated their patients were able to communicate better with the use of Speak for Myself, and all 12 nurses (100%) indicated they would use Speak for Myself again. Suggestions for further development of Speak for Myself were offered from the nurses. Limitations include a small sample in South Florida. The results of this and previous studies about Speak for Myself will be used in further development and testing of the computer application.

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