The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2009 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

PHYSICIANS PERSPECTIVES’ OF THE RESPIRATORY CARE PRACTITIONER AS A MID-LEVEL PRACTITIONER IN SPECIFIC DOMAINS AND SETTINGS OF CLINICAL PRACTICE

Carlton R. Insley, Sidney R. Schneider, Robert L. Joyner; Department of Health Sciences, Salisbury University, Salisbury, MD

BACKGROUND: Gaining an understanding of physician perspectives on Respiratory Care practice expansion to mid-level provider (MLP) capability is necessary to define an appropriate professional development pathway. After specifying domains and settings pertinent to the respiratory care practitioners’ (RCPs) scope of practice, we queried, “What are physicians perspectives on Respiratory Care Practitioners as mid-level practitioners?” METHODS: An expert committee validated survey was presented via electronic mail to American Thoracic Society (ATS) physicians. Approximately 7300 ATS members were surveyed, with 428 responding (approximately 5.8%). The survey instrument included a 9-item questionnaire that used a Likert scale from 1 to 5 (1 strongly disagree to 5 strongly agree). It was divided into three domain-specific categories (three questions per domain) pertaining to RCPs as mid-level practitioners in: (1) Role, (2) Cost Effectiveness, and (3) Care & Safety. Each domain incorporated the following three settings: health care, office practice, and hospital. SPSS 16.0 for Windows (Chicago, IL) was used for statistical analyses. Cronbach’s Alpha (α) was used to test the reliability of the 9-item questionnaire and its three subscales and one-way ANOVAs compared differences in settings for each domain. Significance was set at p≤0.05. Values expressed in means with 95% confidence intervals. RESULTS: The reliability of the 9-item questionnaire showed a Cronbach’s α of .95; and for each domain, .92, .87, and .90, respectively. Significant differences were found for each of the three domains (p < 0.0005). Post hoc analysis revealed differences for RCPs as MLP’s in office practice, as compared to the settings in health care (p < 0.0005), and hospital, (p < 0.0005). CONCLUSION: Physicians’ perspectives on the specific-domains and settings pertinent to RCPs scope of practice as mid-level practitioners were found to be favorable for each of the three domains (Role, Cost Effectiveness, and Care & Safety), and for each domain’s three settings (health care, office practice, and hospital). Although rated favorably, physicians scored RCPs as mid-level practitioners in the office practice setting (in each domain) lower than the settings of health care, and hospital. Sponsored Research - None

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