The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Richard Rice, James K. Stoller; Respiratory Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

Background While research is critical to respiratory therapy, little attention has been given to the role of respiratory therapists (RTs) in conducting research. To better understand the prevalence and spectrum of roles of RTs in research, a survey of RTs has been designed and administered. Methods The study was deemed exempt from consent by the Cleveland Clinic Institutional Review Board. An invitation to participate in the study was sent electronically to members of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) via AARConnect (the AARCÂ’s social and professional networking site) on May 21, 2012. Subscribers to the AARConnect Help Line (N = 50,018), Management Specialty Section (N=1,847) and Research Roundtable (N=78) were invited to complete the brief survey (14 questions) regarding whether they have participated in a research role and if so, what role and to what extent. The survey was administered between May 21 and June 1, 2012. Results A preliminary analysis of responses (between May 21 and May 25, 2012) revealed 70 respondents, of whom 39 (56%) completed the entire survey. Respondents practiced respiratory therapy in 23 unique states. Of the 69 active RT respondents, 26 (38%) reported being currently involved in research activity, 24 (35%) had been involved in research in the past but not currently, and 19 (28%) reported never being involved in any research activity. Thirty one (79%) played a role in research as an RT, 25 (64%) as a co-investigator, 17 (44%) as a principal investigator, and 15 (38%) as a research coordinator. Thirty three (85%) conducted research in a hospital inpatient setting and 7 (18%) conducted outpatient research. Of the 39 who fully completed the survey, 18 (46%) dedicated less than 10% of their time to a research activity in a typical month. Conclusions To our knowledge, these represent the first and broadest survey of RTs to ascertain research roles. The results suggest that a large minority (38%) of RTs do have a research role. Limitations of this study include possible biases related to small sample size, self-selection of respondents, and self-reported data. To expand the sample and complement the AARConnect population, an additional emailing of the survey to all RTs included in the Ohio Respiratory Care Board list is planned. Sponsored Research - None