The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Billy S. Collins; Department of Health Sciences, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Background: Spirometry is commonly used in assessing pulmonary mechanics and diagnosing both obstructive and restrictive lung disease. Occupational medicine clinics utilize spirometry as a screening modality in detecting lung disease among individuals with workplace exposure to various airborne toxins. The purpose of this paper is to determine the effectiveness of screening spirometry in detecting lung disease among persons of at risk populations. Method: A Cochrane Library and Trip Database search was used in searching for valid and well designed literature sources to answer all aspects of the clinical question. Spirometry, pulmonary function, lung disease and screening were used as key terms in conducting the literature review. Parameters were set to include those studies published from 1989 to the present, limited to human subjects and the English language. Preference was given to original publications, randomized-control trials, systematically reviewed publications and studies that specified spirometric efficacy in detecting lung disease as a primary endpoint. Studies that were indirectly associated with the primary endpoint were considered. Results: In summary, after reviewing the literature to answer the clinical question “Does screening spirometry effectively detect lung disease” it appears that spirometry is effective in detecting lung disease. Age is a factor when deciding to screen workers for lung disease. Otherwise, spirometry has shown to be effective in both monitoring and diagnosing lung disease in populations with clinical symptoms of lung impairment, as well as individuals with well defined risk factors for developing lung disease. Conclusions: In reviewing the literature, it appears that spirometry is useful in both detecting and diagnosing lung disease and impairment in at risk populations. Based on the current literature, it is reasonable to conclude screening spirometry serves effective among individuals with pertinent health histories, proven occupational exposures and established risk factors. In support of this conclusion,the landmark Burden of Lung Disease (BOLD) study recommends that spirometry be used in diagnosing obstructive and restrictive lung conditions. Sponsored Research - None