Editorials

Spirometry in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.38987.478727.80 (Published 26 October 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:870
  1. Patrick J P Poels, general practitioner (p.j.p.poels@hag.umcn.nl),
  2. Tjard R J Schermer, senior researcher,
  3. Chris van Weel, professor of general practice,
  4. Peter M A Calverley, professor of respiratory medicine
  1. Department of General Practice (117), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, Netherlands
  2. Department of General Practice (117), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, PO Box 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, Netherlands
  3. Department of Medicine, Clinical Sciences Centre, University Hospital Aintree, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L9 7AL

    Is available, yet underused in general practice

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affects about 1% of the total UK population1 and is a major cause of disability and mortality worldwide. Timely diagnosis and subsequent staging of severity of disease both require spirometry, which in theory can be performed by trained general practitioners (GPs) and their practice staff.23 However, numerous barriers impede the implementation of spirometry in primary care.

    Several guidelines exist for the management of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including those from the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical excellence (NICE)4 and the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD; http://www.goldcopd.com/). All guidelines stress the central role of spirometry in diagnosing and managing the disease in primary care, …

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