The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2011 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Carisia Garcia, Helen Sorenson, Folsade L. Adepoju, Ryan Araiza, Margarita Camero; Respiratory Care, The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX

Background: Airflow limitation relating to chronic lung disease can lead to decreased mobility in older adults. Because onset is gradual many individuals may presume that their shortness of breath is related to aging and many go untreated or do not seek treatment until significant lung function is lost. Fortunately, when treated, many recover much of their lost mobility. Methods: Participants were recruited and had spirometry testing done assisted by respiratory care students using a portable spirometer and a disposable single use mouthpiece. The students screened patients over age 50 who wished to have testing done. Participants signed informed consent forms and were provided with counseling on their results. Those with abnormalities were referred to their physician. Faculty members were present to oversee the testing and to aid in interpretation. Results: Of the 39 seniors tested, 17 demonstrated abnormal results. Eight had been diagnosed previously with pulmonary disease while the other nine were referred for evaluation. None of the participants had previously been engaged in pulmonary rehabilitation. We anticipate the next phase of the project will address improved mobility in these seniors. Conclusion: Many seniors involved in the S4S project have expressed their gratitude for the services provided. Challenges included seasonal appointment availability for physician follow-up and scheduling conflicts. This community project was initiated by students who were members of the Lambda Beta Society, and have now graduated. Students newly inducted into Lambda Beta will continue this project, and expand on services offered to seniors at the local Senior Center.
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