Spirometry education may improve COPD diagnosis, care

A spirometer may sound like a gadget you played with as a kid, but it’s actually a device used to help diagnose chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is responsible for one death every four minutes in the U.S. By 2020, COPD is expected to be the third most common cause of death in the country. While primary care providers are the most likely health care providers to test for the disease, they often refer patients to pulmonology specialists for the simple test using a spirometer.

The Texas Prevention Institute (TPI) worked with NorTex investigators, the UNTHSC Department of Family Medicine and the Office of Professional and Continuing Education to determine how physician use of spirometry can affect and improve treatment of COPD.

As a benchmark, the researchers surveyed physicians, physician assistants and residents about their knowledge, beliefs and practices using spirometers with their patients to detect COPD. These health care professionals were then trained on when to use the device and how to interpret results. Finally, the research team went back to determine if the physicians had increased use of spirometers in the physician’s office, saving the patient an additional trip to a pulmonologist for this simple test.

Early results show that the educational programs increased the use of spirometry in primary care offices, leading to earlier diagnosis of and outcomes for COPD.

Recent News

Ram flyer
  • Community
|Nov 23, 2022

Free pop-up medical, vision and dental clinic is just a week away

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth and Remote Area Medical – RAM® — a nonprofit provider of pop-up clinics that delivers free quality dental, vision and medical care to those in need — are bringing the free health care clinic to Dallas on Dec. 3 and 4. After th...
Mathis, Borjas, Luna Smith Hsc Teaching Chair
  • Community
|Nov 18, 2022

HSC partners with Fort Worth ISD to honor outstanding science teacher 

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth is committed to supporting science and health education for students at all levels of their academic journeys.  Since last year, HSC has sponsored Fort Worth Independent School District’s Chair for Teaching Excellence in Seconda...
Dr. Sid O'Bryant
  • Research
|Nov 14, 2022

Key study results from HSC’s Institute for Translational Research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease

Findings from a recent study by the team at the Institute for Translational Research led by Dr. Sid O’Bryant at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth have been published by the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. The article, “Characterization of Mild Cognitive Impairme...
John Mulstad
  • Our People
|Nov 11, 2022

Recognizing veterans in HSC’s School of Health Professions

Today, and every day, we are proud to recognize the faculty, staff and students of the School of Health Professions who have answered the selfless call to serve as health care providers and in their country's military. We commend and celebrate the patriotism, sacrifices and selfless service of al...