Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.

Department (Legacy)

Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Human Resource Education

Committee Chair

Keedy, John L.

Author's Keywords

Collaboration; Teamwork; Communication; Nurse/physician relationships


Nurse and physician; Communication in medicine


This study examined the effect on physician/nurse collaboration and communication of the implementation of the SBAR protocol, used as nurses reported patient changes to physicians, in a Midwestern community hospital ICU. The design was a two-phased descriptive design. Data were collected through two surveys, one of which addressed collaboration and the other which addressed communication factors. The surveys were administered to ICU nurses (n = 28) and physicians (n = 30) three times. The study also explored attitudes regarding the efficacy of SBAR and interdisciplinary collaboration through interviews with a representative sample of physicians (n = 10) and nurses (n = 10). The collaboration and communication scores analyses, which employed a significance level of (p = .05) and repeated measures ANOV A, established the following key findings: (a) Nurses perceived that nurse-physician collaboration had significantly improved between Time 1 and Time 3; (b) physicians did not perceive that nurse-physician collaboration had significantly improved; (c) at Time 1, the physicians scored significantly higher than the nurses on communication elements of openness and understanding; and (d) the nurses perceived that understanding had significantly improved between Time I and Time 2 and between Time I and Time 3. Interview data generally confirmed the survey findings. Nurses affirmed that SBAR should be taught to all new nurses, but both nurses and physicians perceived the Recommendation statement as overly assertive. Several implications arose from this study: (a) Nurses wanted more collaboration with physicians and perceived that SBAR increased collaboration and improved understanding; (b) physicians did not voice wanting improved collaboration and perceived that SBAR had not changed either collaboration or communication; and (c) authors of SBAR might study the effectiveness of the Recommendation statement.