1996 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
SURVEY OF HEALTH PROMOTION EDUCATION BY RESPIRATORY CARE PRACTITIONERS IN GEORGIA.
Lynda Thomas Goodfellow, MBA, RRT, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia.
Introduction: As Respiratory Care Practitioners (RCPs) adjust to the current health care agenda, health promotion is emphasized more than ever before. RCPs deliver respiratory care services in a variety of settings and can do health promotion education. The purpose of this study was to learn the nature of health promotion education currently provided by RCPs in Georgia. Methods: Names and addresses were obtained from Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) and Georgia Association for Medical Equipment Suppliers (GAMES). 216 Technical directors of respiratory care departments in hospitals and managers of respiratory home health agencies were surveyed using a 2-page questionnaire. Activities surveyed in this study were according to the Healthy People 2000 goals and priorities. These included: tuberculosis testing and prevention; smoking cessation; pulmonary rehabilitation; HIV/AIDS counseling/prevention; tobacco and nicotine risk counseling; heart and stroke information; lung cancer prevention and treatment; environmental exposure and risks; asthma education; and allergy warnings. The questionnaire also asked for demographic information, a description of the activities, who are the programs targeted to, how often they are offered and the kind of evaluation or follow-up given. Results: 83 questionnaires were returned (41%). 85% of these returns were from hospitals. 15% were from home health care managers employing RCPs. Hospitals with less than 100 beds accounted for 40% of the returns. 87% of the RCPs working in hospitals are involved in some form of health promotion education. Activities are reported in order of decreasing frequency: asthma education (78), smoking cessation (48), pulmonary rehabilitation (33), allergy warnings (32), tobacco and nicotine risk counseling (28), environmental exposure and risks (25), tuberculosis testing and prevention (17), heart and stroke information (17), lung cancer prevention and treatment (17), and HIV/AIDS counseling/prevention (7). 15 of the 78 asthma education programs are targeted to adolescents. Individual instruction was listed as the most common form of instruction (51) with self-directed instruction listed as the least common form of instruction (15). Types of follow-up included: phone calls (24), follow-up visits (20), and self evaluation by the patient (19). 27 reported no follow-up or evaluation process for assessing effectiveness. Conclusion: These results suggest that 1) health promotion activities by RCPs in Georgia (in the hospital setting) are concentrated within the two categories of asthma education and smoking cessation, and 2) no conclusions can be drawn about the activities of RCPs in the home care setting regarding health promotion. Health promotion activities by RCPs in the hospital are geared to all patients with a few targeted to adolescent and geriatric populations. This baseline foundation of the nature and scope of activities may help to direct future efforts in the study of health promotion and RCPs in Georgia, as well as in other states. Not only are health promotion activities good for the public, they are good for the profession.