Objectives: The objective of this review is to present a case-based clinical discussion on this topic.
Methods: The article represents part of the proceedings of the Occupational and Environmental Lung Disease conference held by the American College of Chest Physicians at Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 2013, and is based upon a nonsystematic review of the current literature by the author.
Results: Although the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment is the mainstay for evaluating respiratory impairment, many other impairment schemata are currently available in the United States. Impairment evaluation for a case with chronic respiratory disease and a separate case with asthma is discussed.
Conclusions: Pulmonary function tests are the cornerstone for evaluating respiratory impairment. Impairment values differ between various impairment schemata. Impairment evaluation for asthma may be particularly difficult.