Lung Health in Older Adults

College of Nursing / Nursing


Pneumonia rates are high among older adults and lead to negative outcomes. Pneumonia is more likely to occur in people who are shallow breathers. We want to better understand the older adults living in continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) who are shallow breathers and the modifiable factors associated with shallow breathing. A large number of CCRC residents has stooped posture due to osteoporosis and painful conditions which can restrict breathing. Information gained from this project will be used to develop a therapeutic activity to achieve better lung health. The purpose of the project is to examine the prevalence and factors associated with shallow breathing in CCRC residents.

Cross-sectional, correlation design will be used. Lung expiratory volume will be measured by forced expiratory volume (FEV) using a spirometer while the person is sitting upright. The Flexicurve method for measuring the curvature of thoracic kyphosis using two raters will be used. Comorbid conditions will be measured with the Cumulative Illness Rating Scale-Geriatric (CIRS-G). Other measures will be also used such as age, gender, BMI, stooped posture, and 400-Meter Walk Test Performance.

Tasks and Responsibilities

Student tasks and responsibilities include (1) recruiting subjects; (2) collecting data; (3) preparing articles and reports; (4) participating in presentation of the articles, reports, and posters; and (5) performing other duties as assigned by the supervisor.

Desired Qualifications