Date of Award

Spring 5-27-2023

Document Type

Doctor of Nursing Practice Final Manuscript

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Martha G. Fuller, PhD, PPCNP-BC


Background: Down syndrome (DS) is the most common chromosomal disorder worldwide. In the United States, DS occurs in one out of every 700 births. Children with DS have an increased risk of developing serious health conditions. In the military health system, children with DS face many barriers such as frequent relocations and poor access to specialty care. Primary care providers (PCPs) do not consistently follow published guidelines for health supervision.

Purpose: This project aims to improve the care for pediatric patients with DS in the military health system by increasing the knowledge and confidence of PCPs.

Methodology: An educational program on the 2022 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) – “Health Supervision for Children and Adolescents with Down Syndrome” guidelines was presented to PCPs at a military treatment facility (MTF). Education included accessing available resources for DS-specific care within the military health system. An anonymous pre- and post-test assessed the providers’ knowledge of DS management.

Results: After implementation of this training session, there was a 49% increase on a measure of the providers’ knowledge of and confidence in using the AAP’s health supervision guidelines for DS and accessing available resources for DS-specific care at the MTF.

Conclusions: PCPs play an important role in caring for pediatric patients with DS. Provider education on guidelines and the provision of military DS-specific resources can improve outcomes.

Implications: Combining provider education on health supervision guidelines with available resources is a cost-effective intervention that can be used in other military treatment facilities.

Included in

Nursing Commons