In this study an experiment was done to find out the effect of talking upon subsequent oral thermometry. A need for such a study was seen in 1) the apparent indifference of nursing service personnel to possible influences of talkativeness on sublingual temperature evaluations and 2) the seeming want of experimental evidence to indicate that talking does change the sublingual temperature. The sixty-one female students who volunteered as subjects were of the health professions at a selected university. For a thirty-minute period the subjects observed the restrictions of no eating, drinking, smoking, gum-chewing, mouth-breathing or talking. Three minute control oral temperatures were then taken, followed by ten minutes of reading aloud. Next the three-minute experimental oral thermometry was done and temperature alterations calculated. The average temperature reduction was .321 degrees Fahrenheit. In 15 per cent of the subjects there was no change in sublingual temperatures, 31 percent had two-tenths of a degree reduction, 30 percent four-tenths of a degree and 11 percent six-tenths of a degree lowering. The remaining 13 per cent of the subjects showed miscellaneous reductions of eight-tenths of a degree, one degree and negative reductions of two-tenths and four-tenths of a degree. Data were analyzed with the t test. The experimental talking was found to cause a lowering of sublingual temperature to better than a 99.9 per cent probability of significance and with better than a .001 level of significance that the reductions were due to chance. It was concluded that if the experiment *s "talking" approximated the conversing of talkative patients the hypothesis could be accepted, that talking lowers the sublingual temperature. Although the findings were statistically significant, the average temperature reduction was so slight that the findings are probably not clinically important except for the extremely talkative patient. Recommendations were made concerning the management of the very talkative patient and oral thermometry and areas deserving further investigation.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

R. Maureen Maxwell

Second Advisor

Robert W. Woods

Third Advisor

Selma G. Adams

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings




Page Count

viii; 62

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives

Included in

Nursing Commons