Asthma Programme in Finland: the quality of primary care spirometry is good

Prim Care Respir J. 2008 Dec;17(4):226-31. doi: 10.3132/pcrj.2008.00053.


Aims: To assess the quality of primary care spirometry by visual inspection of the flow-volume expiratory curve and to study the quantity of clinical information provided on the spirometry report sheets.

Methods: Retrospective audit of 868 expiratory flow-volume curves referred to three pulmonary clinics assessed against five predefined quality criteria. Clinical information included on the spirometry report sheets was also collected.

Results: Quality was good in 78% of pre-bronchodilation curves and in 80% of post-bronchodilation curves. Obtaining a sharp PEF value and full vital capacity exhalation seemed to be the critical points of measurement. Inter-rater reliability of the curve assessment was mainly good. Data on where the spirometry took place, and comments on the use of respiratory medication and patient co-operation were often lacking.

Conclusions: The quality of primary care spirometry was good. Adequate clinical information on the report sheets would further improve the quality of this diagnostic process.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asthma / diagnosis*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Forced Expiratory Flow Rates / physiology
  • Forced Expiratory Volume / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Audit
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spirometry*
  • Young Adult