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Effective communication between nurses and patients: an evolutionary concept analysis

02 September 2020
Volume 25 · Issue 9


Communication can be considered as the basis of the nurse-patient relationship and is an essential element in building trust and comfort in nursing care. Effective communication is a fundamental but complex concept in nursing practice. This concept analysis aims to clarify effective communication and its impact on patient care using Rodgers's (1989) evolutionary framework of concept analysis. Effective communication between nurses and patients is presented along with surrogate terms, attributes, antecedents, consequences, related concepts and a model case. Effective communication was identified to be a multifactorial concept and defines as a mutual agreement between nurses and patients. This influences the nursing process, clinical reasoning and decision-making. Consequently, promotes high-quality nursing care, positive patient outcome and patient's and nurse's satisfaction of care.

Communication is an essential element of building trust and comfort in nursing, and it is the basis of the nurse–patient relationship (Dithole et al, 2017). Communication is a complex phenomenon in nursing and is influenced by multiple factors, such as relationship, mood, time, space, culture, facial expression, gestures, personal understanding and perception (McCarthy et al, 2013; Kourkouta and Papathanasiou, 2014). Effective communication has been linked to improved quality of care, patient satisfaction and adherence to care, leading to positive health outcomes (Burley, 2011; Kelton and Davis, 2013; Ali, 2017; Skär and Söderberg, 2018). It is an important part of nursing practice and is associated with health promotion and prevention, health education, therapy and treatment as well as rehabilitation (Fakhr-Movahedi et al, 2011). The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2018) emphasised effective communication as one of the most important professional and ethical nursing traits. Nonetheless, communication remains a complicated phenomenon in nursing, and most patient-reported complaints in healthcare are around failed communication (Reader et al, 2014). The aim of the present concept analysis is to explore and clarify the complexity of establishing effective communication between nurses and patients in practice.

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