The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Kitty Hernlen, Susan Johnson, Randall Baker; georgia health sciences university, Augusta, GA

Introduction: A 2009 study indicated a need for asthma education for teachers and school staff in the East Central Health District of Georgia. Peak Performance USA (PPUSA), developed by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), is a one hour program designed to educate school personnel about asthma. PPUSA was provided to faculty and staff at two schools in the ECHD. This purpose of this study was to evaluate asthma knowledge of school personnel before and after PPUSA. Methods: Permission was obtained from the AARC to use PPUSA in this study. PPUSA training was provided for teachers by the same instructor at two schools in the fall of 2011. 75 teachers and staff attended the PPUSA education and 37 participated in the study. A True/False 10 item questionnaire based on the contents of the PPUSA program was developed to assess asthma management. The questionnaire was administered before and immediately after the PPUSA presentation. Individual and group results for the schools were compared to determine changes in asthma knowledge. Results: A paired t-test was used to examine whether the total number correct responses on the questionnaire changed after the PPUSA presentation. The paired t-tests indicated that the educational program did improve the overall total number correct on the questionnaire from pre- to post-test by one correct item (p < 0.0001). To examine change in correct responses in each individual questionnaire item, McNemarÂ’s test was used. There was a significant change from pre- to- post test in items 5 (Coughing is a symptom of asthma) and 8 (A peak flow meter is a device that measures how well air moves out of the lungs). Individuals who answered incorrectly at pre-test more likely to answer correctly at post-test. Conclusion: While scores from faculty and staff improved in both schools, our sample size was too small to be conclusive. We propose to expand enrollment of both urban and rural schools to further evaluate PPUSA and assess rural and urban differences and asthma management awareness. Sponsored Research - W.G. Raoul Foundation Table 1: Descriptive statistics on adult questionnaire data