Improvement in lung function measurements using a flow spirometer that emphasizes computer assessment of test quality.
Banks-DE; Wang-L; McCabe-L; Billie-M; Hankinson-J
J Occup Environ Med 1996 Mar; 38(3):279-283
Lung function measurements using a commercially available spirometer were compared with those from a newly developed spirometer which used computerized assessment of curve quantity and quality. Subjects included 101 steel workers who were tested using the Collins Survey Spirometer 06031 as part of a yearly spirometry program, and then were tested the next year using the newly developed HF4 spirometer. The HF4 spirometer used a rolling seal spirometer with a digital encoder that was directly interfaced through a microprocessor to a personal computer. As the subject performed a maneuver, the flow/volume curve was displayed, along with previous flow/volume curves. Previous and present values for the lung function measurements were displayed on the screen so that the worker's performance could be assessed immediately. Nurses in the medical department of the steel company performed the spirometry. At least two acceptable curves were produced by 81% of the workers using the Survey spirometer and 99% of the workers using the HF4 spirometer. When using the HF4 spirometer, the mean maximal value for forced vital capacity increased 320 milliliters and mean forced expiratory volume in 1 second increased 40 milliliters. The authors conclude that the computerized assessment of spirometric test quality was of benefit in lung function testing in the workplace due to an increase in the interactions between the technician, worker and information presented to the technician, which resulted in spirometry values more representative of lung function.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Cooperative-Agreement; NIOSH-Author; Pulmonary-function-tests; Lung-function; Steelworkers; Occupational-medicine
Daniel E. Banks, MD, Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine, Morgantown, WV 26506-9166
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Center to Protect Workers' Rights