Does specialist respiratory education make a difference to practice?

Nurse Educ Pract. 2010 Sep;10(5):308-15. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2010.02.001. Epub 2010 Mar 16.


Introduction: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) poses a huge burden to society. Continued professional development can be regarded as a requisite for implementing quality care. Within the literature the effectiveness of COPD care is evident, yet it is seldom attributed to the educational attainment of healthcare professionals. This study aimed to examine whether a nationally delivered COPD module is perceived to impact on clinical practice.

Methods: As part of a mixed methods study (Cresswell et al., 2003), qualitative data were gathered post-intervention from 68 students utilising a semi-structured, self-completed questionnaire. Data were analysed using a themed content analysis and a quasi-statistical approach.

Results: The major themes that emerged from the analysis were: changes in personal practice, evidence of changes implemented and changes in participants' personal views regarding disease management. These findings suggest that when students gain knowledge they use it to the benefit of patients.

Discussion: Overall students reported an increase in knowledge and confidence regarding COPD management and an impact on practice was reported. The findings will add to a mounting body of evidence that supports the value of continuing professional learning and will aim to satisfy consumers of education of the efficacy of knowledge in terms of direct patient impact.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Continuing / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Program Evaluation
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Respiratory Therapy / education*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom