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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31823078b8
Original Articles

Periodic Spirometry in Occupational Setting: Improving Quality, Accuracy, and Precision

Hnizdo, Eva PhD; Hakobyan, Artak PhD; Fleming, James L. DO; Beeckman-Wagner, Lu-Ann PhD

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Abstract

Objective: Effectiveness of periodic spirometry in medical monitoring depends on spirometry quality. We describe an intervention on spirometry quality and its impact on accuracy and precision of longitudinal measurements.

Methods: The intervention was conducted from 2005 to 2010 in a monitoring program involving approximately 2500 firefighters. Intervention supported adherence to 2005 American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society recommendations through monitoring of spirometry quality and longitudinal data precision, technician training, change of spirometer, and quality control.

Results: The percentage of forced vital capacity tests meeting the American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society criteria increased from 60% to 95% and the mean longitudinal forced expiratory volume in 1 second within-person variation decreased from 6% to 4%. The increased accuracy and precision of measurements and estimated rates of forced expiratory volume in 1 second decline were statistically significant.

Conclusion: Monitoring of quality and data precision helped to recognize the need for intervention. The intervention improved accuracy and precision of spirometry measurements and their usefulness.

©2011The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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