Undergraduate students' misconceptions about respiratory physiology

Joel A. Michael, Daniel Richardson, Allen Rovick, Harold Modell, David Bruce, Barbara A Horwitz, Margaret Hudson, Dee Silverthorn, Shirley Whitescarver, Steven Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Approximately 700 undergraduates studying physiology at community colleges, a liberal arts college, and universities were surveyed to determine the prevalence of four misconceptions about respiratory phenomena. A misconception about the changes in breathing frequency and tidal volume (physiological variables whose changes can be directly sensed) that result in increased minute ventilation was found to be present in this population with comparable prevalence (∼60%) to that seen in a previous study (9). Three other misconceptions involving phenomena that cannot be experienced directly and therefore were most likely learned in some educational setting were found to be of varying prevalence. Nearly 90% of the students exhibited a misconception about the relationship between arterial oxygen partial pressure and hemoglobin saturation. Sixty-six percent of the students believed that increasing alveolar oxygen partial pressure leads to a decrease in alveolar carbon dioxide partial pressure. Nearly 33% of the population misunderstood the relationship between metabolism and ventilation. The possible origins of these respiratory misconceptions are discussed and suggestions for how to prevent and/or remediate them are proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology
Volume277
Issue number6 PART 2
StatePublished - Dec 1999

Fingerprint

Respiratory Physiological Phenomena
Partial Pressure
Students
Ventilation
Oxygen
Tidal Volume
Art
Carbon Dioxide
Population
Respiration
Hemoglobins

Keywords

  • Mental models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this

Michael, J. A., Richardson, D., Rovick, A., Modell, H., Bruce, D., Horwitz, B. A., ... Williams, S. (1999). Undergraduate students' misconceptions about respiratory physiology. American Journal of Physiology, 277(6 PART 2).

Undergraduate students' misconceptions about respiratory physiology. / Michael, Joel A.; Richardson, Daniel; Rovick, Allen; Modell, Harold; Bruce, David; Horwitz, Barbara A; Hudson, Margaret; Silverthorn, Dee; Whitescarver, Shirley; Williams, Steven.

In: American Journal of Physiology, Vol. 277, No. 6 PART 2, 12.1999.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Michael, JA, Richardson, D, Rovick, A, Modell, H, Bruce, D, Horwitz, BA, Hudson, M, Silverthorn, D, Whitescarver, S & Williams, S 1999, 'Undergraduate students' misconceptions about respiratory physiology', American Journal of Physiology, vol. 277, no. 6 PART 2.
Michael JA, Richardson D, Rovick A, Modell H, Bruce D, Horwitz BA et al. Undergraduate students' misconceptions about respiratory physiology. American Journal of Physiology. 1999 Dec;277(6 PART 2).
Michael, Joel A. ; Richardson, Daniel ; Rovick, Allen ; Modell, Harold ; Bruce, David ; Horwitz, Barbara A ; Hudson, Margaret ; Silverthorn, Dee ; Whitescarver, Shirley ; Williams, Steven. / Undergraduate students' misconceptions about respiratory physiology. In: American Journal of Physiology. 1999 ; Vol. 277, No. 6 PART 2.
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