The ability of physicians to differentiate between asthma and COPD in the primary care setting may be improved with the addition of spirometry testing, according to a study published in npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine. Researchers conducted a cross-sectional study in 10 general practices involving 532 individuals who were screened on respiratory symptoms and lung function. Two chest physicians assessed the presence of asthma or COPD. The ability of three scenarios (only patient history; diagnostics available to primary care; diagnostics available only to secondary care) for differentiating between asthma and COPD was examined. For each scenario, receiver operating characteristic curves and area under the curve (AUC) were calculated, with chest physician assessment as the gold standard. Of total participants, 84, 138, and 310 had asthma, COPD, or no chronic respiratory disease, respectively. Receiver operating characteristic curves of the model in the scenario including only patient history showed an AUC of 0.84 for differentiating between asthma and COPD. The AUC increased to 0.89 when adding diagnostics available to primary care (pre- and post-bronchodilator spirometry).
- Business of Medicine
- Doctor’s Voice