PURPOSE: There exist misperceptions regarding peak flow meters which limits their usefulness. This study looks at the need to simplify education regarding peak flow meters.
METHODS: Nursing students n=28 were asked to fill out an anonymous questionnaire regarding peak flow meters. They were asked to read a patient education sheet regarding the description of peak flow meters. Then they were asked if it would be easier to understand the concept of peak flow meters if described as maximum wind speed in miles per hour (mph) instead of liters per minute.
RESULTS: 82% (23 out of 28) of nursing students did not know what a peak flow meter was and 75% (21) did not know the unit of measurement. After reviewing a description of peak flow meters 57.14% (16) of nursing students thought using maximum wind speed (mph) would make it easier to understand. 61% (14 out of 23) of nursing students who did not know what a peak flow meter measured thought a simpler unit of measure was better.
CONCLUSIONS: Nursing students have a poor understanding of peak flow monitoring. However, simplifying the terminology and unit of measurement to familiar numbers may make them better prepared to teach asthmatic patients.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Changing terminology and units to easily understand measurements may help facilitate the education of asthmatic patients.
DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Maithri Reddy, Mary Zaremba, Kristin Elliott, Alicia Redford, Nipurn Shah, Syed Ali, Sridhar Reddy
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