School of Nursing


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Vickie Moore


Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening, AAA Screening, Educational Interventions, Screening Tools




Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are diagnosed most frequently in male patients of advanced age with a current or past smoking history. Screening for AAA by ultrasonography is effective at detecting clinically significant aneurysms and reduces AAA-associated and all-cause mortality at short-term and long-term follow-up. The criteria for screening include male gender, age 65 to 75, and a current or past smoking status. Additional criteria that may be considered include family history of AAA in a first-degree relative and/or a personal history of hypertension or atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Based on review of the evidence, the project leader designed an evidence-based practice project at a primary care clinic using the Iowa Model. The project identified three measurable outcomes: increased knowledge of AAA screening among providers and clinical staff, increased number of documented AAA screening forms filled out, and increased in the number of patients who have completed an AAA screening by ultrasonography. An educational intervention, along with a pretest and posttest, was administered to participants. A screening tool was developed and provided to clinical staff to assist with documentation of eligible patients. Retrospective and prospective chart reviews were conducted one-month pre- and post-educational intervention. The educational intervention resulted in a 54.5% average increase in clinical staff scores on the posttest compared to the pretest. AAA screenings improved during the project from 0% to 54.5% of eligible patients. Screening by ultrasonography did not increase during the project. The scholarly project is informative of the utility of educational interventions along with screening tools for improving adherence to evidence-based guidelines surrounding AAA screening in the primary care setting.

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