The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) and the Australian and New Zealand Society of Respiratory Science (ANZSRS) commissioned a joint position paper on pulmonary function testing during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in July 2021. A working group was formed via an expression of interest to members of both organizations and commenced work in September 2021. A rapid review of the literature was undertaken, with a 'best evidence synthesis' approach taken to answer the research questions formed. This allowed the working group to accept findings of prior relevant reviews or societal document where appropriate. The advice provided is for providers of pulmonary function tests across all settings. The advice is intended to supplement local infection prevention and state, territory or national directives. The working group's key messages reflect a precautionary approach to protect the safety of both healthcare workers (HCWs) and patients in a rapidly changing environment. The decision on strategies employed may vary depending on local transmission and practice environment. The advice is likely to require review as evidence grows and the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. While this position statement was contextualized specifically to the COVID-19 pandemic, the working group strongly advocates that any changes to clinical/laboratory practice, made in the interest of optimizing the safety and well-being of HCWs and patients involved in pulmonary function testing, are carefully considered in light of their potential for ongoing use to reduce transmission of other droplet and/or aerosol borne diseases.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; aerosol; personal protective equipment; pulmonary function tests; respiratory function tests; spirometry.
© 2022 The Authors. Respirology published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Asian Pacific Society of Respirology.