The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2000 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

THE DEVELOPMENT OF A COOPERATIVE OUTCOMES PROJECT IN PULMONARY REHABILITATION

Hoberty PD, EdD, RRT, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, Moreno M, MSN, RN, The Drake Center, Cincinnati, OH, and Horstman G, MFA, RRT, Marymount Hospital, Cleveland, OH

Background: Quality outcomes research has been encouraged in health care delivery, including pulmonary rehabilitation. It is, however, difficult for managers of programs to obtain professional analysis of outcomes, professional organizations to obtain data that validates the work of their members, and researchers to obtain a comprehensive database for research. This abstract reports the development of a unique statewide, cooperative outcomes project in Ohio.

Methods:
In 1998 the Ohio Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Association (OCRA) charged the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Representative to form a committee to gather and process outcomes in pulmonary rehabilitation. This followed a previous OCRA study in cardiac rehabilitation. At approximately the same time, the Ohio Society for Respiratory Care (OSRC) charged its Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Continuing Care Committee to conduct an outcomes project. When faced with the prospect of rival projects, the boards of directors of both organizations agreed to co-endorse a single project. A joint committee developed a 10-question survey instrument to determine which outcomes programs in the state were gathering. The survey was mailed to 67 outpatient programs in Ohio as identified from the program roster of the American Association for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and OSRC mailing lists.

Results:
Based on 44 returns (66%) to the questionnaire, the joint committee developed a project to gather 10 patient and programs outcomes covering 3 general outcomes areas -- clinical, behavioral and health status: 1) six minute walk distance, 2) number of hospitalizations, 3) number of emergency department visits, 4) UCSD Shortness of Breath QuestionnaireÓ, 5) Pulmonary Rehabilitation Health Knowledge TestÓ, 6) smoking behavior, 7) program participation, 8) maintenance program participation, 9) Medical Outcomes Study SF-36Ó, and 10) St. George's Respiratory QuestionnaireÓ. To facilitate development of a database, researchers in the Respiratory Therapy Division of the School of Allied Medical Professions at The Ohio State University agreed to set up, tabulate, and analyze outcomes data for December 1999 to June 2001, and to produce program and benchmarking reports. Conclusion: To enact a meaningful comprehensive outcomes project, providers, professional organizations, and researchers joined in a unique cooperative project to accomplish the goals of each. This project may serve as a model for others who are developing multi-purpose outcome studies in pulmonary rehabilitation.

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