Assessment of Tracheostomy and Laryngectomy Knowledge among Non-Otolaryngology Physicians

Tsung Yen Hsieh, Leah Timbang, Maggie Kuhn, Hilary Brodie, Lane Squires

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: Identify knowledge deficits about alternate airways (AAs) (tracheostomy and laryngectomy) among physicians across multiple specialties a tertiary institution and to assess the impact of an educational lecture on improving deficits. Methods: Study Design: Cross-sectional assessment. Setting: Academic medical center. Subjects and Methods: An anonymous 10-item, multiple choice assessment was given to physicians at a tertiary care center in the departments of Otolaryngology, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, and Pediatrics. An educational lecture on AAs was presented. Scores between a pre-lecture and a 3-month post-lecture assessment were compared. Data was analyzed using ANOVA and chi-squared analysis. Results: Otolaryngology physicians scored an average of 97.8%, while non-otolaryngology physicians scored 58.3% (P <.05). Non-otolaryngology surgical physicians scored 68.4% while non-surgical physicians were lower at 55.1% (P <.0001). Comparing pre-lecture to post-lecture scores, all non-otolaryngology physicians improved their scores significantly from 58.3% to 86.5% (P <.005). Non-surgical physicians had significant improvement after the instructional lecture, closing the score gap with surgical physicians for the post-lecture assessment. Discussion: The care of patients with AAs requires an understanding of their basic principles. Our findings identify significant knowledge deficits among non-otolaryngologists. Through an instructional lecture, we demonstrated improvement in knowledge among non-otolaryngology physicians and durability of the knowledge after 3 months. Conclusions: Through an instructional lecture, we found tracheostomy and laryngectomy knowledge deficits can be identified and improved upon. Periodic reinforcement of basic principles for non-otolaryngology physicians may be a promising strategy to ensure the proper care of patients with AAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019


  • education
  • laryngectomy
  • patient safety
  • quality improvement
  • tracheostomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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