The effects of an online educational program on nurse practitioners' knowledge of obstructive sleep apnea in adults

Valerio, T. D., & Heaton, K.

Abstract

PURPOSE: This study was conducted to determine the effects of an online educational program on nurse practitioner's (NP's) knowledge of identifying and evaluating adults at-risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

DATA SOURCES: Knowledge was assessed with a 15 question pre-test and post-test, after a 53 minute narrated PowerPoint educational session. Pre-test and post-test answers were compared to determine the change in knowledge. Fifty-four participants entered the study, and 38 (70.4%) completed.

CONCLUSIONS: NPs that completed the entire OSA program (n = 38) had a significant improvement in post-test scores as compared to pre-test scores (p < .001, t(37 = -5.024). This was particularly evident (p = .05) in the areas of clinical prevalence, routine health evaluation, signs and symptoms, high risk situations and screening tools. After the educational session, 97.4% of participants indicated they were "very likely" or "likely" to evaluate their patients for OSA.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: NPs have limited formal education on sleep disorders, although are in a key position to make a significant impact on evaluating adults for OSA. Regular screening to identify adults with OSA would likely lead to improving the rate of diagnosis and reducing the associated chronic health problems.

©2014 The Author(s) ©2014 American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

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