Enhancing collaborative communication of nurse and physician leadership in two intensive care units

J Nurs Adm. 2004 Feb;34(2):60-70. doi: 10.1097/00005110-200402000-00003.


Objective: To test an intervention to enhance collaborative communication among nurse and physician leaders (eg, nurse manager, medical director, clinical nurse specialist) in two diverse intensive care units (ICUs).

Background: Collaborative communication is associated with positive patient, nurse, and physician outcomes. However, to date, intervention-focused research that seeks to improve collaborative communication is lacking.

Methods: A pretest-posttest repeated measures design incorporated baseline data collection, implementation of the intervention over 8 months, and immediate and 6-months-post data collection.

Findings: Communication skills of ICU nurse and physician leaders improved significantly. Leaders also reported increased satisfaction with their own communication and leadership skills. In addition, staff nurse and physician perceptions of nursing leadership and problem solving between groups increased. Staff nurses reported lower personal stress (eg, more respect from co-workers, physicians, and managers), even though they perceived significantly more situational stress (eg, less staffing and time).

Conclusion: Study findings provide evidence that nurse-physician collaborative communication can be improved.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Communication*
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Decision Making, Organizational
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / organization & administration
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing / organization & administration
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / organization & administration*
  • Intensive Care Units / organization & administration*
  • Leadership*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse Administrators* / education
  • Nurse Administrators* / psychology
  • Nurse Clinicians* / education
  • Nurse Clinicians* / psychology
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Physician Executives* / education
  • Physician Executives* / psychology
  • Physician-Nurse Relations*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Program Evaluation