Guideline for office spirometry in adults, 2004

Van Schalkwyk, E. M. ; Schultz, C. ; Joubert, J. R. ; White, N. W. (2004-07)

The original publication is available at

CITATION: Van Schalkwyk. E.M. et al. 2004. Guideline for office spirometry in adults, 2004. South African Medical Journal, 94(7):576-587.


Objective. To provide clinical guidelines for office spirometry in South Africa. Options. More stringent guidelines are required for diagnostic laboratories and research. Outcomes. To minimise variations in standard practice and improve the quality and usefulness of spirometry in the clinical setting. Evidence. Recommendations are based on key international publications as well as research publications regarding reference values for South Africans. Benefits, harm and costs. The medical, social and economic benefits and costs of standardisation of office spirometry in South Africa were considered in the recommendations. Validation. The document has been reviewed and endorsed by the South African Thoracic Society. Conclusions. The indications for spirometry must be specific and clear. Spirometry equipment must meet internationally accepted performance standards and carry proof of validation. Equipment must be regularly calibrated and maintained. Individuals performing spirometry must be adequately trained and demonstrate a high level of competence. Subject preparation, testing and quality control of results must be carried out according to published guidelines. Finally, test results must be interpreted according to current diagnostic guidelines, taking into account the purpose of the test, appropriateness of reference values and the clinical evaluation.

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