Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Respiratory Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Lynda Goodfellow

Second Advisor

Dr. Rachel Culbreth

Third Advisor

Prof. Sam Shan



Background: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is one of the most serious and fatal diseases in intensive care units throughout the world with high mortality rates. The mode airway pressure release ventilation (APRV) showed significant outcomes when used with ARDS patients mainly resulting in mortality reduction. There are no studies have tested the knowledge and perception regarding APRV and ARDS besides the APRV prevalence in Saudi Arabia (SA).

Purpose: This study was aimed to survey respiratory therapists (RTs) as they are the most involved practitioners for this type of disease and assess their knowledge and perception of using APRV on patients with ARDS and explore the prevalence of using APRV mode in the Eastern Province (EP) of SA.

Methods: A cross sectional study was designed as self-administered survey based on current literature and research. The survey was examined for face validity by five respiratory therapy educators from Georgia State University. The survey instrument includes three sections to collect data from participants. The population of this study was a non- probability convenience sample. Participants were limited to RTs only and all other healthcare providers were excluded. An online link was sent to 116 RTs from six hospitals, divided equally to three government and three private hospitals.

Results: A total of 52 returned surveys were received with a response rate of 44.8%. The majority of participants were bachelor’s degree holders (90.2%). Also, majority of them had less than eight years of experience (78.4%). Our results revealed that the RTs had a moderate amount of knowledge about ARDS and APRV mode (63.2%). The vast majority of hospitals in the EP were provided with APRV mode (96.1%). Significantly, results showed that APRV was used by more than 80% of the respondents, half of whom had positive outcomes when using APRV. Patients with ARDS were the most common disease when APRV was applied (98%). There were few significant differences found between the two types of hospital therapists in terms of APRV usage (p=0.0002 and p= 0.006). However, other aspects like APRV-ARDS knowledge, perception, and ARDS protocol and practices showed no significant differences between participants in the two groups.

Conclusion: This study showed that the vast majority of hospitals were fully supplied with the mode and most of the EP RTs have used the mode APRV. This study identified a gap in literature which revealed limited data involving RTs knowledge and perceptions with APRV used as treatment for ARDS. This study opens the window for further studies on RTs, involving APRV and ARDS in Saudi Arabia. Future research is highly recommended to be with the use of larger sample number and to include multiple regions of the country.

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