First Advisor

McCallum, Colleen

Second Advisor

Cullen, Patricia L.


Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice


Loretto Heights School of Nursing

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

73 pages


Executive Summary
This knowledge enhancement capstone project regarding Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD) was an evidence based practice educational intervention project performed in a variety of emergency health care provider organizations in a large metropolitan Midwestern city.
Approximately 265,000 persons in the United States are living with a spinal cord injury (SCI). Of this population, 16-24% (The National SCI Statistical Center, 2011), are at risk of developing Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD) a potentially life threatening condition unique to spinal cord injured (SCI) persons.
The purpose of this evidence-based practice project was to examine the impact of an educational program aimed at the improvement of knowledge of emergency healthcare providers who have the potential of caring for SCI persons at risk of developing AD.
The overall goal of this Capstone Project was improved knowledge enhancement regarding Autonomic Dyreflexia (AD) for emergency healthcare providers who have the potential of caring for SCI persons at risk for AD. Objectives The desired short-term objective of this project was knowledge enhancement of healthcare personnel who have the potential of working with an SCI person at risk of developing AD. The long-term objective of this project was; enhancing the lives of those SCI persons at risk of developing AD, and decreasing the potential for adverse outcomes.
After conducting a needs assessment and literature review, this investigator with the help of content experts, designed a pre and post educational lecture questionnaire, a demographic data collection questionnaire, and an educational presentation structured to enhance the knowledge of emergency healthcare providers regarding AD. Following Institutional Review Board approval from Regis University, the project was implemented and data was collected. Finally, pre and post tests were coded, data inputted into spreadsheets and the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was utilized to process data and determine outcomes and results. A paired t-test was utilized to compare pre and post test data.
Outcomes and Results
A total of 169 participants with varying levels of education completed both the pre and post education questionnaire. Results of this study displayed statistical significance (p=.000), indicating achievement of this capstone project goal of improved knowledge enhancement of emergency care services providers. Pre and post lecture questionnaire comparisons revealed a significant difference in scores for pretest knowledge regarding AD (M=4.57, SD 2.25) and posttest (M=8.11, SD 1.91) after the educational presentation; t (-17.45) =-3.14. These outcomes indicated increased knowledge enhancement regarding AD for the study participants.

Date of Award

Fall 2015

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

Rights Statement

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