Effects of the Spirometry Learning Module on the knowledge, confidence, and experience of spirometry operators

Richard Parsons, David Schembri, Kerry Hancock, Anne Lonergan, Christopher Barton, Tjard Schermer, Alan Crockett, Peter Frith, Tanja Effing

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Our study measures effects of the Spirometry Learning Module (SLM) on health-care professionals’ knowledge of spirometry test quality and perceived confidence, experience, and understanding of spirometry measurements and interpretation. Professionals from both primary and hospital-based settings enrolled in the SLM, a training model focusing on spirometry test performance and interpretation, including an online interactive learning component and a face-to-face workshop. Participants were asked to submit patient spirometry assessment worksheets for feedback on quality and interpretation. Data were collected at baseline, SLM completion (20 weeks), and 12 months after SLM completion. Knowledge of spirometry test quality was evaluated with questions relating to five case-based assessments of common spirometric patterns. Perceived confidence, experience, and knowledge in test performance were measured using a 7-point Likert scale. The Friedman test combined with post hoc analyses were used to analyse differences between baseline, 20-week, and 12-month post completion. Qualitative interviews were performed to assess reasons for non-completion. Of the 90 participants enrolled in the SLM and consented to research, 48 completed the 20-week measurement and 11 completed the 12-month measurement. Statistically significant improvements were detected in all outcomes in participants who completed the SLM to 20-week and 12-month follow-up assessments (all p values < 0.01). Barriers to completion were limited access to patients requiring spirometry, high clinic workload, and having a different spirometer at the workplace compared to the one used during SLM demonstrations. Our data suggest that participants’ confidence, experience, and knowledge regarding spirometry may improve through SLM completion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
Number of pages8
Journalnpj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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