This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Caregiver/Speech-Language Pathologist Communication in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit




Jenkins, Rachel

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences


Purpose: The purpose of the current investigation was to determine caregiver satisfaction with Speech-Language Pathologist’s (SLP) communication in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), as well as the impact this communication has on caregiver stress. Method: Primary caregivers of infants who endured a NICU stay in the past twelve months were invited to take a 48-item, web-based, nationally distributed survey. Eight caregivers met the inclusion criteria and completed the survey. Results: The majority of participants indicated they were satisfied with their communication with their child’s SLP and that communication with their child’s SLP decreased their stress levels; however, areas for improvement were noted, such as availability and explanation of information in an understandable manner. Conclusions: Findings from the current investigation are positive; however, they do reflect areas in which SLPs should focus their efforts. These include making efforts to coordinate their availability with caregiver visits as possible, as well as making every effort to explain information in caregiver-friendly language.