The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2003 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Robert E. Braun, MPH, CHES, RRT Lorien Nursing and Rehabilitation Center 6334 Cedar Lane Columbia, MD 21044 Rick Boyd, Ed.D, MSPH The George Washington University 2200 K. St. NW Washington, DC 

Objectives: There were two objectives with this needs assessment. The first was to assess asthmatic's knowledge about their own disease. The second objective used two behavioral science theories to identify what their behavior and attitude presently are. The behavioral science theories used are the Trans-Theoretical Model and the Social Cognitive Theory. We wanted to analyze at what stage of change each asthmatic is at, with respect to better self-management of their disease. Also, we wanted to see assess the belief that they have the confidence to self manage their disease. 

Methods: The design of this needs assessment is a 22-question survey, divided into two parts. The first consisted of 17 questions covering knowledge of asthma and the latter consisted of 5 questions about behavior. The survey was administered to patients (n=20) who had a history of asthma, and was admitted to the University Hospitals of Cleveland. 

RESULTS: The participants were mostly female (90%) with an average income of less than $30,000 annually. Most (73.7%) had a high school education, but not more. Surprisingly, 64.7% of the participants (n=17) knew that "inflammation of the bronchiole airways" was the underlying cause of asthma. Unfortunately questions asked about medicines and inhalers had a less then average response, only about 45% had those questions correct. It did show that these participants had the self-confidence (n=16, 88.9%) and the desire (n=17, 89.5%) to make a change and take better management of their disease. Discussion: The majority of the asthmatics (n=16) said they have a peak flow meter at home yet only one-third of those use it with any consistency. Is it a behavioral problem or have they not had proper instructions? At the same time though, no one knew exactly when, and how many times it should be done a day (n=7, 38.9%; n=5, 26.3% respectively). This shows that more education needs to be taught on how to properly use a peak flow meter, and when to use it. The overall feeling from this survey is that the patients showed they want to make a change. They want to better their health by participating more in self-management of their disease. We must correctly interpret this data and use it in the design of a new intervention.

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