The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2006 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

SMOKING CESSATION INSERVICE TRAINING FOR RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS;

Georgianna Sergakis, M.S., RRT, Sarah M. Varekojis, PhD, RRT, Nikki Johnson, B.S., CRT, and Heather Zuber, B.S., CRT; Respiratory Therapy Division, School of Allied Medical Professions, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

Background: Virtually 22% of U.S. adults persistently use tobacco. When asked 70% of these adults express they want to quit. Studies have shown that hospitalization is the ideal moment to promote smoking cessation to these patients. Respiratory Therapists are not taking a significant role in smoking cessation at the bedside even when they have the knowledge base and opportunity. The purpose of this study was to see if a one hour in-service on smoking cessation education at the bedside is effective in assisting Respiratory Therapists to enhance their knowledge on topics of smoking cessation education, improve their attitudes about providing smoking cessation education, and develop effective practices and achieve confidence in providing smoking cessation education at the bedside.

Methods:
The participants were a sample from the 125 Respiratory Therapists that currently work at The Ohio State University Medical Center who agreed to volunteer for the study. Each therapist involved completed a pretest before attending a one-hour in-service or watching the in-service on CD. Three months after completion of the in-service, each RT in the study was contacted by mail for an identical post-test. The pre and post-test was field tested and reviewed by a panel of experts. The survey included topics such as work experience, age, gender, knowledge about smoking cessation, attitudes toward presenting smoking cessation, current practices, and confidence when providing smoking cessation.  

Results:
14 of 23 surveys were returned (61.8%). The mean age was 32.36 years and their mean number of years worked as Respiratory Therapists was 9.5 years.  Most (79%) were Registered Respiratory Therapists and 64% had Bachelor's degrees. Before attending the in-service, 3 of 14 (21.4%) therapists surveyed reported that overall they felt confident or very confident in their ability to talk with their patients about smoking cessation. Post-in-service, 50% reported that they were confident or very confident in providing it. There was a statistically significant difference in the pre and post-test knowledge scores and the confidence scores. Also, the RTs all felt competent or very competent to provide smoking cessation at the bedside.  Although there was no statistically significant difference with attitude and current practices, there were increases in percentages when comparing the two test scores.

Conclusion:
In order to provide the therapist with the best tools, in-services and continuing education should be developed to increase the frequency of brief interventions at the bedside. The development of treatment pathways and protocols would also make it easier for the RT to start the smoking cessation education with the patient and refer them to other smoking cessation services.

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