College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 8-19-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Joseph Tariman, DNP

Second Advisor

Shannon Simonovich, DNP



Epigenetics has been proposed as the epicenter of anesthesia research. The epigenetic landscape developed by Waddington reflects that human diversity is likely the result of a myriad of complex interactions between both intracellular and environmental environments, rather than a simple one-to-one protein coding of the genome. A gap in the literature identifies a need to better explore links between epigenetics and anesthesia. No formal educational program on this topic geared toward anesthesia providers was identified based on the comprehensive literature review completed.


This study aimed to describe the knowledge of the anesthesia providers including Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), Anesthesiologists (Medical Doctors or Doctors of Osteopathy), and Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists (SRNAs) on the identified links between epigenetics and anesthesia after a 1 hour educational offering on epigenetics and anesthesia.

The secondary objective was to gauge the acceptability of such an educational offering amongst anesthesia providers.


A post-test only study design was utilized for this study. A validated, one hour educational offering on epigenetics and anesthesia linkages was delivered to anesthesia providers followed with the subsequent administration of a posttest exam. The posttest was an assessment of learning based upon the ten objectives of the educational presentation with two questions per objective and was aligned with the contents of instruction. Also, the posttest included six modified Likert-type questions to gauge the 1 hour educational program’s acceptability.


All 34 questions were answered by the 41 study participants with a Kuder-Richardson 20 value of .41. The mean correct scores on the 20 knowledge questions was M = 13.05 with a SD = 2.76. The six Acceptability Scale questions had a Cronbach’s Alpha value of .778. Most participants had a neutral to acceptable rating for the program on the acceptability portion of the posttest. No statistically significant association was found between gender, age group, employment status, position/role, and education level with the post-test epigenetic exam mean scores.


Forty one anesthesia providers learned key concepts of epigenetics in anesthesia. The educational program expanded the knowledge of anesthesia providers to an emerging topic, epigenetics in anesthesiology that has the potential to change anesthesia theory, research, and practice.

SLP Collection


Included in

Nursing Commons