Spirometry Update

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Course Delivery & Duration

Single interactive study day.

Suitable For

This course is aimed at anyone who is competent in spirometry assessment or has their certificate in spirometry and wants an update or some support in interpretation.

Outline Content

Spirometry is recommended in national and international guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and is often necessary, together with other investigations to differentiate other conditions presenting in primary care.

Increased availability of spirometry in primary care settings (‘office spirometry’) is much needed, as it provides rapid access to accurate diagnosis and monitoring close to the patient’s home. However, poorly performed tests and misinterpretation of the results can lead to misdiagnosis (or missed diagnosis) and mismanagement. As spirometry is effort dependent, the role of the person administering the test as ‘coach’ to the patient cannot be overestimated; therefore training and regular practice is vital. Likewise, the results of tests need to be properly interpreted in the light of the clinical history and presentation.

Diagnosis of any condition requires a complex series of decisions based on clinical history, family history, examination and further investigations where appropriate. The use of quality controlled spirometry is an essential part of clinical practice in primary care diagnosis, management and monitoring of COPD and asthma.

To support further education and training for personnel responsible for interpreting spirometry results or for supervising others conducting the tests we are offering an update on interpreting spirometry results and quality assurance:    

  • Restrictive and mixed abnormalities
  • Obstructive abnormalities
  • Severity of airway obstruction
  • Bronchodilator response
  • Interpreting change
  • Quality control and referral

Within the session we will look in detail at:

  • Analysis of normal and abnormal patterns of spirometry
  • Identification of errors in measurement and therefore that the test needs to be repeated.
  • Supervision and quality control of others conducting spirometry tests
  • Ability to advise on subsequent patient management, based on the results of the spirometry.

Learning Outcomes

  • Recap on existing knowledge
  • Problem solving
  • Interpretation skills
  • Machine workshop
  • Update on national guidelines

Section Headings

  • Quality assured spirometry
  • Safe practice
  • Interpretation of results
  • Challenging your underpinning knowledge