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Differences in the use of spirometry between rural and urban primary care centers in Spain

Authors Márquez-Martin E, Soriano JB, Rubio M, Lopez-Campos JL

Received 4 April 2015

Accepted for publication 31 May 2015

Published 17 August 2015 Volume 2015:10(1) Pages 1633—1639


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Eduardo Márquez-Martín,1 Joan B Soriano,2 Myriam Calle Rubio,3 Jose Luis Lopez-Campos1,4

On behalf of the 3E project

1Unidad Médico-Quirúrgica de Enfermedades Respiratorias, Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla (IBiS), Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío, Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, 2Instituto de Investigación Hospital Universitario de la Princesa (IISP), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cátedra UAM-Linde, 3Servicio de Neumología, Hospital Universitario Clínico San Carlos, 4Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain

Objectives: The aim of this study is to evaluate the ability and practice of spirometry, training of technicians, and spirometry features in primary care centers in Spain, evaluating those located in a rural environment against those in urban areas.
Methods: An observational cross-sectional study was conducted in 2012 by a telephone survey in 970 primary health care centers in Spain. The centers were divided into rural or urban depending on the catchment population. The survey contacted technicians in charge of spirometry and consisted of 36 questions related to the test that included the following topics: center resources, training doctors and technicians, using the spirometer, bronchodilator test, and the availability of spirometry and maintenance.
Results: Although the sample size was achieved in both settings, rural centers (RCs) gave a lower response rate than urban centers (UCs). The number of centers without spirometry in rural areas doubled those in the urban areas. Most centers had between one and two spirometers. However, the number of spirometry tests per week was significantly lower in RCs than in UCs (4 [4.1%] vs 6.9 [5.7%], P<0.01). The availability of a specific schedule for conducting spirometries was higher in RCs than in UCs (209 [73.0%] vs 207 [64.2%], P=0.003). RCs were more satisfied with the spirometries (7.8 vs 7.6, P=0.019) and received more training course for interpreting spirometry (41.0% vs 33.2%, P=0.004). The performance of the bronchodilator test showed a homogeneous measure in different ways. The spirometer type and the reference values were unknown to the majority of respondents.
Conclusion: This study shows the differences between primary care RCs and UCs in Spain in terms of performing spirometry. The findings in the present study can be used to improve the performance of spirometry in these areas.

Keywords: respiratory functional test, rural health, obstructive lung diseases

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