Short- and long-term effectiveness of a supervised training program in spirometry use for primary care professionals

Arch Bronconeumol. 2013 Sep;49(9):378-82. doi: 10.1016/j.arbres.2013.01.001. Epub 2013 Mar 5.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction: Despite the importance of spirometry, its use and quality are limited in the Primary Care setting. There are few accredited training programs that have demonstrated improvement in the quality of spirometric studies. In this paper, we analyze the short- and long-term effectiveness of a supervised training program for performing and interpreting spirometries.

Methodology: Ours is an intervention study with before and after measurements. The target population included teams of physicians and nursing staff at 26 health-care centers in the area of Vigo (Galicia, Spain). The structured training program involved 2 theoretical and practical training sessions (that were 2months apart), an intermediate period of 30 supervised spirometries performed in the respective centers and weekly e-mail exercises. Effectiveness was evaluated using exercises at the beginning (test 1) and the end (test 2) of the 1st day, 2nd day (test 3) and one year later (test 4), as well as the analysis of spirometries done in month1, month2 and one year later. Participants also completed a survey about their satisfaction.

Results: 74 participants initiated the program; 72 completed the program, but only 45 participated in the one-year evaluation. Mean test scores were: 4.1±1.9 on test 1; 7.5±1.6 on test 2; 8.9±1.3 on test 3, and 8.8±1.4 on test 4. During month1, the percentage of correctly done/interpreted tests was 71%, in month two it was 91% and after one year it was 83% (P<.05).

Conclusions: A training program based on theoretical and practical workshops and a supervised follow-up of spirometries significantly improved the ability of Primary Care professionals to carry out and interpret spirometric testing, although the quality of the tests diminished over time.

Keywords: Atención primaria; Calidad; Espirometría; Formación; Primary care; Quality; Spirometry; Training.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Education, Medical, Continuing / organization & administration*
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing / organization & administration*
  • Educational Measurement
  • Electronic Mail
  • Female
  • Health Facilities
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians, Primary Care / education*
  • Primary Care Nursing*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Pulmonary Medicine / education*
  • Role Playing
  • Spain
  • Spirometry*
  • Teaching / methods