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Editorials |

Office Spirometry : Does Poor Quality Render It Impractical?

John L. Hankinson, PhD (Valdosta, GA)
Author and Funding Information

Captain, United States Public Health Service, retired.

Correspondence to: John L. Hankinson, PhD, PO Box 3496, Valdosta, GA 31504-3496



Chest. 1999;116(2):276-277. doi:10.1378/chest.116.2.276
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Extract

In this issue of CHEST (see page 416), Eaton and colleagues report their findings on the quality of spirometry in primary care practices and the impact of spirometry workshops. In an analysis of 1,012 spirometry tests from 30 primary care practices, only 3.4% of patients in practices that received no training and only 13.5% of patients in practices that received minimal training had three acceptable maneuvers with a reproducible test. The percentages were slightly higher (12.5% and 33.1%, respectively) if the American Thoracic Society minimum requirements1 for interpreting two acceptable maneuvers were used. These findings of poor quality spirometry were observed despite the use of“ built-in” spirometer quality assurance features that provide immediate feedback to the technician concerning curve acceptability and test reproducibility. In addition, the primary care physician’s interpretation was judged correct for only 53% of patients.


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