Feasibility of the electrolarynx for enabling communication in the chronically critically ill: The EECCHO study


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Purpose:To assess feasibility of producing intelligible and comprehensible speech with an electrolarynx; measure anxiety, communication ease, and satisfaction before/after electrolarynx training; and identify barriers/facilitators.Methods:We included tracheostomized adults from 3 units following commands, reading English, and mouthing words. On enrolment, we measured anxiety, ease, and satisfaction with communication. We gave electrolarynx instruction for ≤5 days then 2 independent raters assessed intelligibility, sentence comprehensibility (9-point difficulty scale), and Electrolarynx Effectiveness Score (EES), and re-evaluated anxiety, communication ease, and satisfaction. Interviews explored barriers/facilitators.Measurements and main results:We recruited 24 participants (Jan2015-Dec2016). Mean (SD) intelligibility was 45%(18%) words correct: 57%(21%) when facing. Mean comprehension difficulty was 6.4(2.0) overall, indicating moderate difficulty (5.5(2.5) scored visualizing). Mean EES was 2.9(1.0) (3 = improved lip-reading through recognizable sounds). Anxiety decreased from median 3.8 to 2.0 (P = .007). Communication was rated easier (median 15 vs 12, P = .04) whereas satisfaction remained similar (P = .06). Facilitators included device friendliness, patient independence, and word intelligibility. Barriers were patient weakness, difficulty positioning the device, and limited sentence as opposed to word intelligibility.Conclusion:The electrolarynx may aid intelligible speech for some tracheostomized patients if the communication partner can visualize the users face, and reduce anxiety and make patient perceived communication easier.HighlightsThe electrolarynx may aid intelligible speech if the communication partner can visualize the face.The electrolarynx reduced anxiety and made patient perceived communication easier.Facilitators to use included device friendliness, patient independence, and word intelligibility.Barriers were patient weakness, difficulty positioning the device, and limited sentence as opposed to word intelligibility.

    loading  Loading Related Articles