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J Asthma. 2015;52(9):913-9. doi: 10.3109/02770903.2015.1004684. Epub 2015 Jun 1.

The reliability and utility of spirometry performed on people with asthma in community pharmacies.

Author information

a Department of Biomedical Science , Charles Sturt University , Orange , NSW , Australia .
b Woolcock Institute, the University of Sydney , Sydney , Australia .
c Faculty of Pharmacy, The University of Sydney , Sydney , Australia .
d Sydney Local Health District , Sydney , NSW , Australia .
e Faculty of Health, University of Canberra , Canberra , ACT , Australia .
f School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University , Perth , Australia , and.
g Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Monash University , Monash , VIC , Australia.



To investigate the reliability and the utility of spirometry generated by community pharmacists participating in two large asthma intervention trials of 892 people.


The Pharmacy Asthma Care Program (PACP) and the Pharmacy Asthma Management Service (PAMS) involved up to four visits to the pharmacy over 6 months for counseling and goal setting. Pharmacists performed spirometry according to ATS/ERS guidelines to inform management. The proportion of A-E, F quality tests, as per EasyOne QC grades, were recorded. Lung function results between visits and for participants referred/not referred to their general practitioner on the basis of spirometry were compared.


Complete data from 2593 spirometry sessions were recorded, 68.5% of spirometry sessions achieved three acceptable tests with between-test repeatability of 150 ml or less (A or B quality), 96% of spirometry sessions included at least one test that met ATS/ERS acceptability criteria. About 39.1% of participants had FEV1/FVC values below the lower limit of normal (LNN), indicating a respiratory obstruction. As a result of the service, there was a significant increase in FEV1 and FEV1/FVC and asthma control. Lung function values were significantly poorer for participants referred to their general practitioner, compared with those not referred, on the basis of spirometry.


Community pharmacists are able to reliably achieve spirometry results meeting ATS/ERS guidelines in people with asthma. Significant improvements in airway obstruction were demonstrated with the pharmacy services. Pharmacists interpreted lung function results to identify airway obstruction for referral, making this a useful technique for review of people with asthma in the community.


Asthma; forced expiratory volume; pharmacy; program evaluation; spirometry

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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