The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Carisia Garcia, Sade Adepoju, Ryan Araiza, Margaita Camero, Leonard D. Wittnebel; Respiratory Care, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

Background: Community service learning (CSL) in respiratory care affords a mutually beneficial means of meeting objectives such as addressing access to care for underserved populations while refining student-patient education skills. It is well documented that patients with COPD are under-diagnosed and lack understanding of key elements of self-management such as correct aerosol device technique and compliance with oxygen therapy. This results in significant numbers of patients with a high risk of morbidity and mortality due to potentially preventable exacerbation. Methods: A student led program called Partners in Pulmonary Health (PIPH) focused on teaching disease management skills composed of disease education, breathing techniques, medication delivery, and oxygen titration, to senior citizens with COPD at a local community center. They assessed the seniors’ level of education on their pulmonary disease using a pre and post Pulmonary Health Questionnaire (PHQ) and were asked to complete a brief survey to determine their subjective quality of life via the SF-36 ™ Questionnaire. Patients (n=6) were evaluated individually and addressed according to their needs. Results: 5 out of the 6 participants demonstrated an increase in their initial and exit PHQ. Overall the pre-intervention mean PHQ was 43% and post-intervention mean PHQ was 59%. As a whole, PIPH observed an average of 37% increase on the exit PHQ. Pre-intervention mean SF-36 score was 52% indicating a subjective reduced quality of life. Conclusion: Participants demonstrated an increased knowledge of their disease process along with successful teach-back technique for their prescribed medication’s device technique. Participants received useful equipment such as aerosol chambers and fingertip pulse-oximeters. While this CSL project successfully achieved the mutual goals of helping to optimize self-management of older adults in the community while allowing for student patient education skill refinement, additional needs were identified through interaction with patient stakeholders such as the need for bilingual educational handouts. In addition, obstacles to participation such as concurrent events in the community center were identified. As a result, future CSL projects need to incorporate target populations in the early project design phase to ensure optimal implementation. Sponsored Research - None