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A Guide To Performing Quality Assured Diagnostic Spirometry

23 April 2013

Download A Guide To Performing Quality Assured Diagnostic Spirometry

Spirometry is an essential investigation for diagnosis and severity assessment in people with COPD and other respiratory conditions. Failure to diagnose matters because decline in lung function is faster in the earlier stages of COPD and undiagnosed patients do not receive the treatment that we know makes a big difference to outcomes. At the same time evidence suggests that around a quarter of people on general practice COPD registers do not meet the diagnostic criteria for COPD. They may therefore be receiving inappropriate and expensive therapies. This level of mis- diagnosis occurs because much of the diagnostic spirometry currently performed fails to meet the essential quality standards.


This step by step guide shows how high quality diagnostic spirometry can be delivered in primary care and elsewhere. It provides a clear outline covering operator competency, calibration and cleaning, preparation of the patient, operation of the equipment, interpretation of results and quality assurance.

It has been produced in conjunction with BLF, EfH, ARTP, Asthma UK, NHS, BTS, PCRS and PCC.

The authors are very grateful to the GPs, nurses and respiratory specialists who have given their time to develop this guide: Kara Renno, Rupert Jones, Brendan Cooper, Mark Levy, Monica Fletcher, Martin Miller, Peter Barnes, Judith Lawrence, Angela Evans, David Price, Graham Burns, Mike Morgan, Chris Loveridge, Kevin Gruffydd Jones, Colin Gelder, Sam Prigmore, Jacqui Cooper, Irene Horton, Irene Moss, Anne Moger and Matt Kearney.


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