Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is an effective strategy to manage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), though its utilization rate is low. One reason for this low utilization rate is that nurses do not provide COPD patients with enough health education to increase the patient's motivation for PR participation. This study examined knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intention toward PR promotion. The study also investigated the correlates of behavioral intentions to promote PR among pulmonary nurses.

A cross-sectional correlational design was used. Overall, 284 nurses (all women) from chest medicine and general internal medicine wards in 3 hospitals within Midwest Taiwan were recruited. Data were collected by anonymous, self-administered questionnaires. We aimed to understand if there would be differences in the Chest Medicine and Generalist nurses on these outcomes, given the specialty versus generalist nature of their practice. Results were analyzed using multiple linear regressions.

Although the 2 groups of nurses (ie, Chest Medicine, General Medicine) showed no differences in PR knowledge, attitudes, or behavioral intentions, they lacked sufficient PR knowledge and skills. The accuracy rate of PR knowledge was approximately 12% and self-evaluated PR skills were less than 50%. Self-efficacy in promoting PR was above average (ie, 57%–60%), and the strength of attitudes and behavioral intentions was over 70%. A multiple linear regression revealed that behavioral intentions of nurses working in the chest medicine ward were influenced by behavioral attitudes, and also PR skills and self-efficacy (explanatory power 33.3%).

Attitudes, skills, and self-efficacy heavily affected pulmonary nurses’ ability to promote PR; however, PR knowledge and skills remain low. Therefore, future implementation of practical PR training courses is needed to strengthen nurses’ behavioral intentions toward PR promotion.

Improved pulmonary rehabilitation-related skill, attitudes, clinical experience of PR programs, and/or practical PR training are needed among both generalist and specialist nurses. Education courses and clinical practice training should be increased in the future to promote pulmonary rehabilitation of COPD patients.

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Published in Medicine, v. 97, issue 43, e12975, p. 1-8.

Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal.

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Funding Information

The grant was supported by the Chang Gung Medical Foundation (CMRPF6B0072 & CMRPF6B0073) and the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan (MOST103–2410-H-255–002-MY3).