Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0284-5974

Date of Award

Spring 3-31-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Respiratory Therapy

First Advisor

Lynda Goodfellow

Second Advisor

Chip Zimmerman

Third Advisor

Shi Huh Samuel Shan

Abstract

Abstract

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a global health problem, is gradually increasing. It was predicted that by 2020, COPD would be the third cause of death, with 10% of the cases being in high-income countries. Worldwide, this disease affects 380 million people leading to 3 million deaths yearly. High mortality is attributed to late diagnosis, which decreases the chances of recovery and survival. COPD is highly prevalent in low-income countries than in developed countries. In Saudi Arabia, the prevalence rate is 14.5 % among current and ex-smokers. Smoking rates among Saudi population is 27.9%, and the dusty weather of Saudi Arabia are considered the major risk factors for COPD among the Saudi community. Respiratory therapists (RTs) would play a major role in managing COPD patients because of the shortage of pulmonologists. Therefore, the purpose of this descriptive research study was to examine knowledge, attitude, and awareness of COPD among Saudi Arabian RTs to increase their involvement of treating COPD patients. The study method was a convenient sample (n = 119) of Saudi RTs. Findings of descriptive analysis showed that 53.2% of RTs answered correctly on the scale of knowledgeability of COPD. Independent t-test analysis revealed no gender differences in RTs’ knowledgeability about COPD and its global guidelines. Similarly, One-way ANOVA revealed no significant differences (p>0.05) in knowledge due to education level. Moreover, 52% of the RTs have the appropriate skills to treat COPD patients with no significant differences (p>0.05) in skills based on education level. Lastly, the RTs were moderately confident in implementing diagnosis and assessment according to guidelines/recommendations. The males (𝑥̅=6.9) were more confident than females (𝑥̅=6.11). However, based on the ANOVA test, there was no significant difference (p=0.306 >0.05) in confidence scores due to education level. Overalls, it can be concluded that gender and education level may impact the knowledge levels, skills, and attitudes of Saudi Arabian respiratory therapists differently, and the Saudi ministry of healthy can rely on them in terms of mange, examine, and treat COPD patients.

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