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Interpreting screening questionnaires: specific respiratory symptoms and their relationship to objective test results.
J Occup Environ Med 2010 Dec; 52(12):1225-1229
Objective: To better delineate the relationship between responses to screening respiratory symptom questionnaires and various pulmonary function test results. Methods: Spirometry, methacholine challenge, standardized questionnaires, smoking, medical, and work histories were recorded at initial and 5-year follow-up surveys among 411 participants. Percent-predicted forced expiratory volume in 1 second (ppFEV1), 5-year FEV1 decline, and proportion of methacholine responders (% hyper-responders) were compared with questionnaire responses utilizing generalized estimating equations modeling and analysis of variance. Results: Significant associations were found between ppFEV1 and cough, phlegm, dyspnea, or ever wheezing; between greater percentage of hyper-responders and dyspnea with wheezing, ever/persistent wheezing, or history of asthma/hay fever; and between accelerated FEV1 decline and new onset dyspnea with wheezing, phlegm, or persistent wheeze. Conclusions: Particular respiratory symptoms reported on screening questionnaires are associated with specific physiologic abnormalities, enhancing questionnaire utility in workplace health surveillance.
Respiratory-function-tests; Respiratory-system-disorders; Medical-screening; Questionnaires; Pulmonary-function-tests; Spirometry; Lung-function; Smoking; Methacholines; Surveillance-programs
Edward L. Petsonk, MD, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Mail Stop H-G900.2, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division