An educational tool for understanding the cardiopulmonary changes associated with aging.


An educational tool for understanding the cardiopulmonary changes associated with aging.


Chandler M P; DiCarlo S E


The American journal of physiology




Normal aging is associated with cardiac, vascular, and pulmonary adaptations that significantly affect the individual's ability to maintain homeostasis. To understand the changes associated with aging, we developed a laboratory exercise that compares and contrasts the cardiopulmonary responses to exercise in a young and an older individual. We also developed this interactive tool because it is our experience that learning is better facilitated when students are encouraged, and required, to become an active and integral part of the educational process. This exercise provides a unique opportunity to analyze, integrate, and interpret the changes associated with aging because more is learned about how a system operates when it is forced to perform than when it is idle. In this laboratory exercise, basic anatomical and physiological data about aging are provided. Subsequently, figures are presented that illustrate the responses of specific cardiopulmonary variables during exercise (e.g., heart rate, cardiac output, blood pressure), and the students are challenged to analyze and assimilate information from the figures, answer questions, make calculations, and plot graphs. The laboratory does not require equipment or software, only rules and pencils. Questions, and answers to them, are provided in the appendix. The emphasis is on the application of basic science principles, interpretation of pictorial or tabular material, and problem solving skills. In addition, an evaluation instrument was developed to assess the effectiveness of this instructional tool in an academic setting. Specifically, the evaluation instrument addressed four major components, including aims and objectives, content of materials, components and organization, and summary and recommendations.


*Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena; *Education; *Teaching Materials; Adult; Aged; Aging/*physiology; Evaluation Studies as Topic; Humans; Medical; Physiology/*education


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Chandler M P; DiCarlo S E, “An educational tool for understanding the cardiopulmonary changes associated with aging.,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed July 21, 2024,