Social isolation in intubated and nonintubated patients in the ICU
Based on the theoretical framework of symbolic interactionism, verbal communication was identified as a necessary component of human social interaction. The problem of this study was to compare levels of nurses' verbal communication directed at intubated and nonintubated patients.
Fourteen critical care nurses were observed as they interacted with 16 patients during 10 minutes of the initial shift assessments in the MICU and CCU of a large county hospital. A total of 33 periods of interaction, 15 with intubated patients and 18 with nonintubated patients, were observed. The Nurse-Patient Interaction Tool was used to describe and record the content of interaction.
Controlling for patient acuity, the analysis of variance (ANOVA) supported the hypothesis that intubated patients receive less patient-directed verbal communication than nonintubated patients (p