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Factors facilitating and hindering the intention to promote pulmonary rehabilitation for patients with COPD among respiratory therapists

Authors Chen YJ, Fan JY, Guo SE, Hwang SL, Yang TM

Received 18 May 2017

Accepted for publication 1 August 2017

Published 11 September 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 2695—2702

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S142124

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Charles Downs

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Yun-Ju Chen,1 Jun-Yu Fan,2 Su-Er Guo,2–4 Su-Lun Hwang,2,3 Tsung-Ming Yang4

1Division of Respiratory Therapy, Chiayi Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung Medical Foundation, Chiayi, Taiwan, Republic of China; 2Graduate Institute of Nursing, College of Nursing, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Chiayi, Taiwan, Republic of China; 3Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion Research Centre, Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Chiayi, Taiwan, Republic of China; 4Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Chiayi Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung Medical Foundation, Chiayi, Taiwan, Republic of China

Purpose: Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is recognized as the chief non-pharmacologic management approach for patients with COPD, but is clinically under-utilized. In Taiwan, respiratory therapists (RTs) are one of the first-line health care providers who spend vast amounts of time with COPD patients in PR programs. To better enhance patients’ knowledge of and participation in PR, it is necessary to understand how PR is viewed by RTs, as well as how these views influence their behavioral intentions toward promoting PR. This study applied the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to investigate both the behavioral intentions and the influential factors surrounding PR in RTs.
Patients and methods: This cross-sectional study used structured self-administered questionnaires at a national symposium for RTs to collect data on their knowledge, attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral controls, and behavioral intentions with regard to promoting PR. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to identify significant factors affecting the intended promotion of PR by RTs.
Results: The response rate after excluding respondents with incomplete data was 88.1% (n=379). A majority of the participants were college graduates, aged over 30 years, and women. The respective percentage scores derived from questionnaires gauging the knowledge, attitudes, subjective norms, self-efficacy, and behavioral intentions components of total PR scores were 63.12%, 71.33%, 68.96%, 66.46%, and 80.29%. The factors significantly affecting RTs’ intentions to suggest PR participation to COPD patients or encourage it were attitudes, subjective norms, and self-efficacy. The total model explained 22.5% of the variance in behavioral intentions.
Conclusion: The results of the study suggest that RTs strongly intend to promote PR, but are hindered by insufficient knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy with regard to it. Applying TPB provided insight into which factors can be addressed, and by whom. For example, enhancing RTs’ self-efficacy can be achieved through PR training via school curricula, further regular continuing education and/or courses, and practical experience.

Keywords: behavioral intention, theory of planned behavior, exercise program, self-efficacy, respiratory therapist, COPD

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