Trial of Spirometry Fundamentals™ in the Primary Care Setting

2014-08-27 03:12:36 | BioPortfolio


Spirometry is a recommended component of asthma diagnosis and treatment in the primary care setting, yet few primary care providers report routine use of spirometry in the provision of care for their asthma patients. Misclassification of asthma severity has been reported when assessment is based on symptoms alone. This misclassification can lead to inadequate treatment that may result in increased morbidity and increased healthcare utilization/cost. However, even when spirometry is utilized to aid in asthma severity classification, primary care providers have a high rate of failing to meet the quality goals for testing established by the American Thoracic Society.

The goal of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Spirometry Fundamentals™ tool in training primary care providers and their staff in producing high-quality flow-volume curves as compared to existing training modalities and to gather information in a 'real-world' setting that can be used to improve Spirometry Fundamentals™.


Currently few self-paced, distance learning programs exist that train staff to perform good quality spirometry tests. This study evaluates the effectiveness of a distance-learning tool for training primary care providers and their medical assistants in the use of spirometry to assist in managing obstructive lung disease (asthma and COPD). This tool is called "Spirometry Fundamentals™: A basic guide to lung function testing". It is a computer-based training program that teaches primary care providers and their staff what spirometry is, how it can be used, the techniques required to perform high-quality spirometry, and clinical interpretation of the spirometric data.

We evaluated the effectiveness of Spirometry Fundamentals in the primary care setting by conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT). Study participants were primary care physicians (MDs or DOs) and their staff (medical assistants (MAs) or nurses (RNs)) and were recruited as study pairs. The role of the MDs was to utilize spirometry in clinical care by ordering spirometry tests based on their clinical judgment, and the role of the MAs was to perform the spirometry. The patients performed the spirometry as part of their usual care were not considered study subjects.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Health Services Research




Spirometry Fundamentals™ Training CD


University of Washington
United States




University of Washington

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:12:36-0400

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