Evaluation of an asthma training and educator course, AsthmaTrec©: participants' perspectives
Davis, Karen Bettyann
The Asthma Training and Educator Course©, AsthmaTrec©, was developed by the Manitoba and Saskatchewan Lung Associations in response to an increasing need for knowledgeable and consistent education for the management and treatment of asthma. The course, first offered in 1999, was designed to provide health care professionals with the knowledge, skills and resources necessary to facilitate effective asthma patient education. This descriptive study evaluated the effectiveness of AsthmaTrec©, from the perspective of successful graduates. Survey questionnaires were mailed in June, 2001 to 182 participants who graduated in the first fourteen months of course delivery. Study participants were surveyed regarding: the importance of course content and skills, regardless of discipline; the strengths and limitations of the course content; what differences encountered in delivering asthma education since AsthmaTrec© ; and their future continuing education needs for asthma education. The response rate to the survey was 68.0%. Respondents (n=117), included nurses, pharmacists, registered respiratory therapists and physical therapists. Descriptive statistical analysis was performed on the data collected and expressed as mean scores, frequency distribution, percent, standard deviation and chi-square. Comments from respondents were categorized from the questionnaire using content analysis. The findings from the majority of the respondents indicated that AsthmaTrec© was successful in meeting the needs of program participants and provided respondents with the necessary knowledge and skills in their practice for asthma education. Perceived course content strengths included the practical information in the course and the techniques that related directly to self-management of asthma. Perceived program weaknesses included components of the course relating to the role of the educator. National CAE's perceived themselves more as a resource person by the public and other health care professionals. Continuing education perceived as most valuable included written materials, use of the Internet and conferences attendance. Further research is indicated to explore the collaborative efforts of the multidisciplinary team in relation to asthma education.