The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Kevin Hall2, Rachel Brieck2, Jenny Burns2, Briana Funches1, Ryan Hickey2, Jessica Liddil2, Georgianna Sergakis1; 1Respiratory Therapy - School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; 2Respiratory Therapy, Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

BACKGROUND: The high incidence of COPD readmission and corresponding economic burden is cause for national concern. Research related to pulmonary disease management supports that clinical practice guidelines and discharge protocol implementation have the potential to decrease the number of exacerbations and reduce hospital readmissions. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether COPD disease management education and an individualized COPD action plan delivered prior to discharge from a large mid-western medical center would increase patient knowledge and reduce hospital readmissions within 30 days. METHODS: This descriptive pilot study examined COPD knowledge, symptom severity and 30-day readmission rates of in-patients admitted for COPD exacerbation. RTs administered a knowledge questionnaire and a COPD Assessment Test (CAT) to identify knowledge deficits and quantify the severity of COPD symptoms. The RTs delivered a tailored education session, followed by a post-test COPD knowledge evaluation. In addition, a COPD action plan was created. Data analyzed using descriptive statistics and paired t-tests as appropriate. RESULTS: Eight eligible subjects (3 female, 5 male), with a mean age of 68 years were enrolled in the pilot study. Sixty-three percent had multiple readmissions within the past year. Only 3 participants had received prior COPD education. The Cronbach’s alpha for the knowledge instrument was 0.693; which reflected acceptable internal consistency. Pre-test knowledge scores for this sample reflected deficits in the areas of medication and symptom management; which were also areas of highest priority to the patients. A paired t-test indicated a statistically significant change from pre-test to post-test knowledge score (p=.01). The severity of COPD symptoms ranged from medium to very high. Based on chart review, no subjects were readmitted to the hospital within the 30 day readmission window. CONCLUSION: Data suggests the personalized educational session positively influenced overall COPD patient knowledge. Each participant expressed their gratitude for the personalized attention and found the session beneficial. Further exploration is recommended using a larger sample. Standardization of the COPD discharge protocol is recommended. Sponsored Research - None