Exploring a Nursing Home-Specific, Interdisciplinary, Function-Focused, Communicative Framework Based on Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation

Min Sun Park, Su Jung Lee, Young Rim Choi, Sung Ok Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background Improved methods of communication are needed among professionals in related fields to address the increasing complexity of clinical situations and various levels of functioning experienced by older adults who live in nursing homes. Purpose The purpose of this study was to explore function-focused clinical communication among nurses and providers based on the Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation (SBAR) approach toward interdisciplinary collaboration to maintain function among nursing home residents and to identify the characteristics of SBAR flows in nursing homes. Methods Detailed interviews with 28 interdisciplinary professionals working in four nursing homes were conducted. Directed qualitative content analysis was used to identify the internal attributes of SBAR-based communication. Case analysis was conducted to identify SBAR flows. Results Four themes emerged as key factors for function-focused interdisciplinary staff communication in nursing homes. Effective nursing care to maintain function among nursing home residents requires accurate awareness of abnormal circumstances. Knowledge of assessment and resident background are needed to address situations requiring intervention and identify the problems underlying a resident's current state. The optimal therapeutic environment is created by sharing roles and tasks among practitioners through referrals. Twelve generalized situations requiring function-focused communication (i.e., dislocation of body line because of joint contracture, change in walking, difficulty of moving because of pain, difficulty in eating, fever, change in sleep pattern, change in excretion pattern, change in weight, change in condition, change in problematic behavior, decrease in cognitive function, and change in relationships) and the related nurse-centered SBAR pathways were identified. Conclusions/Implications for Practice These results represent a first prototype for developing practical communication guidelines for nursing-home-specific function-focused care and provide new insights into the interdisciplinary approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere151
JournalJournal of Nursing Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • SBAR
  • communication
  • interdisciplinary studies
  • nursing homes
  • older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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