Author ORCID Identifier


Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Respiratory Therapy

First Advisor

Douglas S. Gardenhire

Second Advisor

Robert B. Murray

Third Advisor

Kyle Brandenberg


Background: Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) program is an effective non-pharmacological intervention for patients with COPD. It aims to improve quality of life, exercise capacity, and lung function. PR has been shown to reduce mortality and morbidity rate. To enhance COPD management strategies, it is essential to examine students' perceptions toward PR programs to determine the need for the implementation of educational courses about the effectiveness of PR programs. This study would also be considered one of the initial steps in developing a pulmonary rehabilitation education course in the curriculum of all healthcare programs at Georgia State University. Purpose: was to assess the perceptions of various enrolled healthcare students at a large urban university. Methods: The data used for this study were collected from three different healthcare programs at GSU using a convenience sample. Data were collected through a self-administered survey consisting of 38 questions on a 5-point Likert- type scale evaluating the perceptions. The survey was examined for face validity by respiratory therapy educators from GSU. Data was analyzed using the statistical program of Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Results: A total of 178 participants from three programs. The majority of respondents were respiratory therapy students (43.3%); followed by physical therapy (39.9%); occupational therapy (16.9%). The study findings revealed there were differences in the perception of students regarding pulmonary rehabilitation. There was a significant difference in positive perceptions between students who had experience attending PR programs and those who did not (p=0.043). There were no differences found among students in familiarity with PR programs (p=0.060). Finally, there were no differences in the perception of students regarding the factors that could influence COPD patients' decisions not to participate in the PR programs. Conclusion: Healthcare students value and have a positive perception toward PR. The results of this study support the idea of the implantation of PR courses throughout the healthcare program curriculum. Healthcare students felt that they had an important role in PR programs, but barriers to participating and assisting in PR included their own lack of knowledge and clinical experience. They considered that there should be more teaching on pulmonary rehabilitation and that these should feature in both the curriculum and clinical. Further studies with a higher number of participants and different institutions are recommended.


File Upload Confirmation