214661 Do Respiratory Therapists Receive Training & Education in Smoking Cessation? A National Study of Post-Secondary Training Programs

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Michael Wiblishauser, MS, CHES , Health and rehabilitative Services, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Timothy R. Jordan, PhD, MEd , Department of Health Education and Rehabilitative Services, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Jagdish Khubchandani, MBBS, MPH, CHES , College of Medicine, University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, OH
Tavis Glassman, PhD , Health Education, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Amy J. Thompson, PhD, CHES , Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH
Background: Respiratory therapists are expected to evaluate patients' tobacco use, readiness to quit smoking, and treat tobacco addiction. However, no one has assessed the education that respiratory therapists receive during their post-secondary training programs. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to assess the tobacco-related education provided by respiratory therapy training programs in the United States.

Methods: A cross-sectional research design was used to survey the entire population of respiratory therapy Program Directors in the United States. A valid and reliable questionnaire was developed and mailed using a 2-wave mailing technique (73% return rate). Internal reliability coefficients (Cronbach alpha) for the various components of the questionnaire ranged from .78 to .91

Results: 56% of programs did not teach students about 5R's and 47% did not teach about the 5A's. 31% of programs did not include tobacco topics in the program's curriculum. 41% of programs did not formally evaluate students' competence in providing smoking cessation counseling to patients. A range of 65% to 86% of programs reported spending one hour or less on clinical science topics related to tobacco use The majority (90% to 97%) of programs spent no time teaching residents about the socio-political (i.e. public policy, advocacy) aspects of tobacco use cessation.

Conclusions: Results of the current study demonstrate that tobacco-related education is a minor component of the training of respiratory therapy students. The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) needs to develop teaching and practice guidelines regarding smoking cessation and tobacco use prevention for respiratory therapy students.

Learning Areas:
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the status of tobacco cessation education in Respiratory Therapy Training Programs. 2. Identify the leading barriers to implementing smoking cessation education for respiratory therapists.

Keywords: Education, Tobacco

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD in Health Education and have published several articles in this area
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.