The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Gary R. Lowe1, Angela Green1, Cathy J. Thompson2; 1Respiratory Care/Nursing Research, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock, AR; 2College of Nursing (CU), University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO

Introduction: The Institute of Medicine identified evidence-based practice (EBP) as key to improving health care quality. Little is known about respiratory therapists’ (RTs) perceptions of EBP. A survey specifically for RTs was adapted from a nursing tool and administered to determine current knowledge and practices of Respiratory Care Services staff at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH). Method: The Research Factor Questionnaire-Evidence-Based Practice©, a previously validated and reliable (a=.89) nursing survey, was adapted with the author’s permission. The survey contains 43 questions and was adapted for RTs by the collaborating authors. After obtaining IRB approval, RTs at ACH were invited to participate in an online survey to determine baseline knowledge and practices regarding EBP. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: Of the 229 staff invited to participate, 125 participated in the survey (response rate =54.6%). The majority of respondents were female (71.2%), Caucasian (84.8%), full-time (80.6%), and an average age of 37.7 years (SD=10.0). Respondents were predominantly RRTs (90.7%) with a BS Degree (62.6%). Most RTs had heard of EBP (95.8%), were interested in learning more (90.0%), had taken research, EBP, or statistics courses (55.8%), and reported attending local professional development opportunities in the last year (70.8%). RTs described EBP as meaningful (62.4%), valuable (69.6%), important (70.9%), and useful (72.6%). RTs averaged 1.22 hours/week reading professional literature and reported discussing evidence for clinical practice with fellow therapists (53.0%). In addition, over 80% identified that department policies/procedures were based upon evidence. Finally, respondents indicated that ACH actively supported research and EBP by providing material (>69%), human (>72%), and financial (>65%) resources. Conclusion: Since adding a research RT position in 2009, a research committee has convened to facilitate research and EBP in the department. This survey determined baseline knowledge and practices and will be used to assist with strategic planning for education and support for the staff. A follow-up survey is planned in 12 to 15 months to evaluate our progress. Sponsored Research - None