Quality of spirometry tests in periodic examination of workers
AbstractBackground: Spirometry is a tool for screening and early diagnosis of harms caused by occupational respiratory exposures. Since spirometry results largely depend on spirometry method, their credibility and acceptability may vary. Objectives: Accordingly, the quality of spirometry procedures and test reports were studied in periodic examinations of workers of an industry. Materials and Methods: In a cross-sectional study, the recorded results of 506 spirometry tests performed in periodic examinations of 190 workers of an industry between 2005 and 2015 were evaluated. Each test was assessed in terms of ATS standards and quality of reporting, and the results obtained were compared with the results of spirometry conducted by the research team. Results: The most common error in performing these tests was failure to allow for the 6-second exhalation (in 70% of cases). After matching for the elapsed time, reported FVC and FEV1 in these tests were different from the standard spirometry performed by the research team by 5% in more than half of the cases and by more than 10% in a quarter of the cases. Conclusion: The results obtained revealed poor quality of spirometry tests performed in worker’s periodic examinations. It is therefore recommended that spirometry operators be trained and quality of spirometry tests in occupational examinations be more vigorously monitored.
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