The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2001 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

COMPUTER BASEDINTERACTIVE EDUCATION PROGRAMS FOR HOSPITALIZED CHILDREN WITH ASTHMA AND SICKLECELL DISEASE

 

M. Kinlow,RRT, Hughes Spalding Children?s Hospital, A. Hazzard, P.h.D., Emory UniversitySchool of Medicine, F. Adams, RRT, Hughes Spalding Children?s Hospital , B.Batts,MPH, RRT, Hughes Spalding Children?s Hospital.

Introduction: Starbrightworld is an innovative computer network for hospitalized children that providesinteractive health education, as well as opportunities to meet on -line withchildren in other hospitals.

Purpose: This study examinedwhether hospitalized children who use STARBRIGHT World would demonstrate greaterincreases in knowledge of their chronic illness when compared to control patientswho were provided standard care.

Subjects: One hundred andten children participated in the study: sixty in the control group and fiftyin the treatment group. Sixty-three children were diagnosed with asthma and47 had sickle cell disease (SCD). Most (98%) were African-American, and participantsranged in age from 8 to 18.

Design: This study utilizeda pre-post treatment- control group experimental design, with children randomlyassigned to experimental group according to time of hospitalization. Childrenin both groups received verbal health education from respiratory therapy (RT)staff as part of routine hospital care. Children in the treatment group participatedin one to three sessions of STARBRIGHT World use, guided by a research staffmember, several of whom were RTs. Features of STARBRIGHT World that were usedincluded health education activities, videoconferencing, and chat rooms, aswell as recreational features. For children with SCD, Sickle Cell Slime-O-Rama,an interactive educational ?game show? developed by STARBRIGHT Foundation, wasthe primary educational activity; for children with asthma, several websitesaccessed via STARBRIGHT World provided the primary disease and treatment-relatedinformartion. Previously validated knowledge questionnaires (for SCD and asthmarespectively) were administered to all subjects after admission and before dischargeand a questionnaire assessing children?s subjective responses to hospital activitieswas administered at post-testing.

Results: Four repeated measuresanalyses of variance were conducted on knowledge scores according to disease-agesubgroups. In each subgroup, treatment children?s knowledge score gains weregreater than those of control children; these differences approached statisticalsignificance ( p=.06) for teens with asthma. Ninety-six percent of treatmentsubjects rated themselves as liking STARBRIGHT World ? very much?, the highestrating on a 4-0point scale.

Conclusions: STARBRIGHT Worldshows promise as a health education tool which RTs and other healthcare professionalscan utilize to increase children?s disease and treatment-related knowledge.

OF-01-086

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