A Study of the Affective Relationship Between Selected Communication Interventions and Changes In the Quality of Documentation Relating To Nursing Care

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mass Communication and Journalism

First Advisor

Forrest Tucker

Advisor Department

Mass Communication and Journalism


Five medical and surgical nursing units received varying degrees of intervention over an eight week period to determine which of four communication modalities most impacted leader effectiveness and nursing documentation quality. Hypothesis One predicted that there would be overall differences between the groups with the group receiving the most treatments ranking highest and the control group ranking lowest. While there was interaction between the groups, it was not in the predicted order and H-1 was rejected. Hypothesis Two predicted higher scores after treatments compared to the pretest. There were significant differences between pre and posttest scores but in the opposite direction than was predicted. Improvements following the predicted change were recorded for approximately half the study but declined during the last half, resulting in a rejection of Hypothesis Two. The third Hypothesis predicted an interaction between Groups and Trials with resulting greater improvement and longer retention for groups which received the most treatments. Because this Hypothesis depended on the acceptance of Hypothesis One and Two, it, too, was rejected. The leader of the group obtaining the overall highest aduit scores showed the most significant changes in self-assessment of leadership style. A conclusion was that a point of declining return can be reached with training and that further intervention can have negative results. In addition, feedback alone did not prove to be a sufficient motivator of nursing performance. Finally, scores for the three subsections of the audit varied markedly, suggesting that distinct activities of nursing documentation are influenced by training more than overall audit scores.