The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2008 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Margaret McCormick1, Tamara L. Burton1, Niya Werts1, Mary Cataletto2

Introduction and Background: Early training of the healthcare specialist does not focus on an interdisciplinary team approach that reflects the working environment in which students will enter. This undergraduate program proposes to evaluate an integrative and interdisciplinary team approach to obesity and asthma education.

This interdisciplinary case study model is designed to educate 53 college students enrolled in various health professions(nursing, respiratory, nutrition, and exercise physiology) to implement current guidelines established from best practices in medicine and garnered from multi-disciplinary feedback discussion.

Methods and Materials:
A full day workshop was developed by an interdisciplinary team of healthcare educators from nursing, respiratory, exercise physiology, and nutrition and offered to a pilot group of 53 healthcare students at Towson University. The program consisted of 5 parts delivered sequentially: 1. Self-study online, Quest for the code interactive video game by Starlight/Starbright. 2. Lecture series delivered by nursing, respiratory therapy, and nutrition staff members. 3. Direct interactive component with interdisciplinary case discussion and patient stimulation. 4.Pre and post assessment of student skills, communication, and adherence to guidelines. 5. Program assessment to evaluate if students gained additional knowledge from team interaction.

Conclusions and Results:
Statistically significant increase in knowledge from pre to post test for the pooled sample was observed (p<.001). No significant difference between the groups due to small sample size and limited power. The interdisciplinary group had a higher mean aggregate score for overall satisfaction with the simulation (33.3) whereas, the nurses' only group scored (29.4). This difference in means was significant at the p=.05 level. The satisfaction survey items querying opportunities to provide coordinated care and counseling patients about asthma and with management showed significant between group differences (p<.05) with the interdisciplinary group scoring higher than the nurses only group.