Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2017 February; 72(2): 65-70.

Copyright © 2017 CLINICS

Evaluation of self-perception of mechanical ventilation knowledge among Brazilian final-year medical students, residents and emergency physicians

Fernando Sabia Tallo I * , Simone de Campos Vieira Abib I , Alexandre Jorgi de Andrade Negri II , Paulo Cesar Filho III , Renato Delascio Lopes IV , Antônio Carlos Lopes I

Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), Departamento de Cirurgia, São Paulo/SP, Brazil

Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Departamento de Cardiologia, João Pessoa/PB, Brazil

Universidade Evangélica de Anapolis, Anapolis/GO, Brazil

Duke University Medical Center, Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, North Carolina, United States

*Corresponding author. E-mail:

received April 29, 2016; revised July 18, 2016; accepted August 8, 2016.



To present self-assessments of knowledge about mechanical ventilation made by final-year medical students, residents, and physicians taking qualifying courses at the Brazilian Society of Internal Medicine who work in urgent and emergency settings.


A 34-item questionnaire comprising different areas of knowledge and training in mechanical ventilation was given to 806 medical students, residents, and participants in qualifying courses at 11 medical schools in Brazil. The questionnaire’s self-assessment items for knowledge were transformed into scores.


The average score among all participants was 21% (0-100%). Of the total, 85% respondents felt they did not receive sufficient information about mechanical ventilation during medical training. Additionally, 77% of the group reported that they would not know when to start noninvasive ventilation in a patient, and 81%, 81%, and 89% would not know how to start volume control, pressure control and pressure support ventilation modes, respectively. Furthermore, 86.4% and 94% of the participants believed they would not identify the basic principles of mechanical ventilation in patients with obstructive pulmonary disease and acute respiratory distress syndrome, respectively, and would feel insecure beginning ventilation. Finally, 77% said they would fear for the safety of a patient requiring invasive mechanical ventilation under their care.


Self-assessment of knowledge and self-perception of safety for managing mechanical ventilation were deficient among residents, students and emergency physicians from a sample in Brazil.

Keywords: Artificial Respiration, Medical Education, Emergency Medicine

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