Communication Disability and Adverse Events in Hospital: Aphasia (Pilot Study)

Conference abstract accepted:

Speech Pathology Australia National Conference, Hobart, 24-27 June 2012

Adverse events in hospital as reported by adults with aphasia and their spouses: A pilot study.

Maryanne Wernincke (1), Linda Worrall (1), Bronwyn Hemsley (2)

(1) The University of Queensland; (2) The University of Newcastle

Background

Adults with communication disability have a three-fold increased risk for preventable and multiple adverse events in hospital (Bartlett et al., 2008). However, little is known about the patient safety incidents of adults with aphasia. Saxena, Ng, Yong, Fong, and Gerald (2006) found that stroke patients often experience preventable and harmful patient safety incidents, including falls and skin sores, during hospitalization. Increased duration of stay in hospital is associated with an increased risk of patient safety incidents (Andrews et al., 1997) and stroke patients who have increased duration of stay in hospital or who suffer a patient safety incident in hospital are at a higher risk of rehospitalisation (Lin, Chang, and Tseng 2011). To date, there is little information available on the experiences of adults with aphasia relating to adverse events in hospital. The aims of the study are to (a) describe the experiences of adults with aphasia secondary to stroke and their carers/family members in relation to patient safety incidents experienced in hospital since stroke, (b) identify the situations, people, events, and outcomes relevant to the patient safety incident, and (c) look for commonalities in stories of experiences that would inform the prevention or better management of patient safety in stroke patients with aphasia.

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