Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Victoria K. Marshall, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Constance Visovsky, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Paula L. Cairns, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Brian T. Graves, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Marcia Johansson, DNP


critical care, nursing, qualitative research, therapeutic relationships


To date, communication between mechanically intubated patients and nurses is laden with negative psychological and physiological impacts. Research has focused more on what patients want to communicate, and how nurses communicate with intubated patients. There is limited research identifying the communication methods preferred by these patients. The purpose of this study was to identify communication preferences of mechanically intubated patients using a phenomenological approach.

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants in their hospital rooms. The interview questions focused on the period of mechanical intubation when the participants were unable to speak. A total of 27 participants were interviewed at a Level I trauma teaching hospital located in southeastern Florida. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Analysis was conducted independently by two researchers.

Three major themes were identified: Physical experiences of intubations, emotional experiences of being intubated and communication experiences while intubated. Three subthemes under communication experiences were identified: communication attempts while intubated, family help with communication while intubated, and communication preferences while intubated.

Participants interviewed identified technology as their communication preference. Tablets were cited as the communication preference for their ease of use and adaptability. Participants described using tablets to write or type as well as utilizing drop down boxes, pictures and icons for communication with nurses and family.

Included in

Nursing Commons