Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology

First Advisor

Dr. James L. Moseley


The purpose of this study was to examine the usage (diffusion) of the Beaumont Communication Tool, as part of a formative evaluation, to determine who is using the communication tool, perceptions of strengths and weaknesses of the communication tool, and perceptions of the effectiveness of the communication tool in facilitating communications with nonverbal patients. A total of 90 nurses and ancillary professionals, who used the communication tool completed an original survey to determine strengths and weaknesses of the tool, use with patients and families, and reasons why the tool is used or not used in their areas. The staff members provided their professional characteristics and characteristics of their noncommunicative patients. The responses from participants indicated a lack of use of the communication tool on a regular basis. The results indicated that professional characteristics and patient characteristics were not predictors of either the use or nonuse of the communication tool. Visuals, text and graphics, as well as perceived effectiveness of the tool with patients and families were found to be predictors of the use of the communication tool. The communication tool was developed for use with noncommunicative patients following the systems approach in Instructional Technology. The lack of use may have been due to a lack of training in appropriate use of the communication tool. Nurses and other professional ancillary staff members may also have not had sufficient time with each patient to use the tool effectively. Further research and evaluation are needed to determine how the tool can be designed with greater input from the staff who will be using it, so that a greater number of staff are aware that the tool exists and are familiar with ways of using it. At the same time, further evaluation may determine how an educational tool can be distributed to staff members in a large organization, may contribute to the diffusion process, and determine use with patients who are noncommunicative. It may no longer be enough for a designer to create an effective educational product; the end steps in the systems design approach must be reexamined and emphasized in the process.