An integrative review of patient safety in studies on the care and safety of patients with communication disabilities in hospital

Bronwyn Hemsley*, Andrew Georgiou, Sophie Hill, Megan Rollo, Joanne Steel, Susan Balandin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To review the research literature on the experiences of patients with communication disabilities in hospital according to the Generic Model of patient safety. Methods: In 2014 and 2015, we searched four scientific databases for studies with an aim or result relevant to safety of hospital patients with communication disabilities. The review included 27 studies. Results: A range of adverse event types were outlined in qualitative research. Little detail was provided about contributing or protective factors for safety incidents in hospital for these patients or the impact of the incidents on the patient or organisations involved. Conclusion: Further research addressing the safety of patients with communication disabilities is needed. Sufficient detail is required to identify the nature, timing, and detection of incidents; factors that contribute to or prevent adverse events; and detail the impact of the adverse events. Practice implications: In order to provide safe and effective care to people with communication disabilities in hospital, a priority for health and disability services must be the design and evaluation of ecologically appropriate and evidence-based interventions to improve patient care, communication, and reduce the risk of costly and harmful patient safety incidents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-511
Number of pages11
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


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