The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2001 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Lori Hand, BSc, RRT, CHT, RRCP,Maureen Meade, MD, FRCPC, MSc, Deborah Cook, MD, FRCPC, MSc, France Landry,RRT, RRCP, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON; Brad Elms, BA, RRT, RRCP, HamiltonGeneral Hospital, Hamilton, ON; Scott Helderweirt, RRT, Ilsa Jessup, RRT, St.Paul?s Hospital, Vancouver, BC; Rod MacDonald, RRT, RRCP, Courtney Maguire,RRT, RRCP, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada

BACKGROUND: Staff respiratorytherapists play an enormous role in the conduct of clinical research in ALIand ARDS. Their attitudes toward participation in this research may influencethe successful conduct of clinical trials. We wished to explore bedside respiratorytherapists? attitudes towards clinical research in ALI/ARDS and methods forimproving their research experience.

METHOD: We conducted ananonymous, self-reported mail survey of bedside respiratory therapists at 4university affiliated ICUs in Canada. We asked how existing environmental andstudy related factors affect the respiratory therapists? present research experience,and what factors might contribute to a positive research experience. We alsoasked for demographic information that might influence survey responses.

Results: In all ICUs wherethe surveys were conducted, respiratory therapists are accustomed to participatingin ALI/ARDS research. We received 53 completed surveys of 66 surveys mailed(80.3% response rate). 92.5% of respondents care for patients enrolled in anALI/ARDS study, most commonly, 1 to 4 days per month. 7.5% of respondents hadnot cared for a patient enrolled in an ALI/ARDS study and were not requiredto complete the survey, other than supplying demographic information. Generally,the respiratory therapists feelings about adhering to a study protocol for mechanicalventilation ranged from neutral to positive. Being involved in research is viewedas an opportunity to learn and is a positive experience. Factors that contributepositively to the research experience include: updates about the progress ofthe study, periodic in-services, incentives, reminders about required tasks,constructive feedback about performance, and statements of gratitude. Attitudesof physicians and nurses towards a study were documented, as well as how theirdegree of enthusiasm contributes to the respiratory therapists? research experience.Good organization of manuals, data forms and other materials along with availabilityof research personnel contribute highly towards a positive research experience.All respondents indicated that the study they had most recently been involvedin was the Canadian ?Lung Open Ventilation Study? (LOVS).

Conclusions: Through thissurvey of attitudes of respiratory therapists? participation in ALI/ARDS research,the vast majority voiced their research experience as a positive one. Numerousmodifiable factors appear to contribute to this positive experience. Given theimportance of respiratory therapists to this field of research, we believe thatthis information may be helpful in optimizing the conduct of clinical trials in ALI/ARDS.