Quality of pulmonary function testing in 3 large primary care pediatric clinics in rural North Carolina.

Chris Gillette, Ceila E. Loughlin, Betsy Lynn Sleath, Dennis M. Williams, Stephanie D. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Pulmonary function testing (eg, spirometry) is recommended by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as part of basic asthma management. Previous research has shown that spirometry is feasible in primary care settings. In this retrospective study, we sought to describe the proportion of spirometries meeting American Thoracic Society (ATS) and European Respiratory Society (ERS) quality criteria in children with asthma evaluated in North Carolina primary care pediatric clinics and to characterize predictors of spirometry that meets ATS/ERS quality criteria. Medical records and spirometries from January 1, 2001, to August 1, 2009, were reviewed and analyzed from children enrolled in a larger asthma study that focused on communication between physicians, children, and caregivers. Children were eligible for the larger study if they were between the ages of 8 and 16 years and had received a previous diagnosis of persistent asthma. Children were enrolled from primary care pediatric practices. Spirometry was not acceptable, on the basis of ATS/ERS criteria, in 75% of cases. Approximately 19% of spirometries used incorrect or outdated predictive sets. More than three-quarters of spirometries in these primary care pediatric clinics were unacceptable. Changes or lack of changes in asthma management may be based on unacceptable spirometry. Additional education and training regarding accurate spirometry and interpretation are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-110
Number of pages6
JournalNorth Carolina medical journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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