A cystic fibrosis handbook for teachers

L. L. Ryan
Janet K. Williams, University of Iowa


The purposes of this project were to (1) develop a handbook on cystic fibrosis for elementary school teachers and to (2) pilot this handbook with a group of teachers and school nurses. The project used a descriptive survey design in which parents, teachers, and school nurses of 14 elementary-age children with cystic fibrosis were recruited from one cystic fibrosis clinic. Interest in using the handbook with their child's teachers was elicited from parents; also, interest in using the handbook was obtained by open-ended questions in a mailed survey sent to teachers and school nurses. Levels of teacher and school nurse knowledge were measured with a true/false pretest and posttest instrument. All parents expressed a desire to use the handbook with their child's teachers. Sixty-seven percent of the teachers and 89% of the school nurses returned the survey, and all endorsed the use of the handbook in their classrooms or schools. Comparison of the pretest and posttest scores from the teachers revealed an increase in teachers' knowledge. Scores on pretest and posttest measures from school nurses were high at each testing time. Results support the use of a printed handbook to promote knowledge of cystic fibrosis in teachers and to support communication among nurses, parents, and teachers.