TABLE 3

Tips for healthcare providers when conducting spirometry tests

Provide clear advice to patients in advance of the test, including the reasons for carrying the test out and whether they need to discontinue using medication and inhalers
Ensure that tests are carried out in a quiet, private space and prepare the room in advance, e.g. by providing sputum pots, tissues and water
Give clear verbal instructions to patients before and during the procedure, even if the patient is experienced in taking spirometry tests
Between manoeuvres in a testing session, always ask the patient if they are ready to proceed before continuing the series
Allow time for a practice test and avoid rushing patients who are anxious or having difficulty taking the test
Give encouragement to patients during the test but avoid shouting instructions
Allow patients sufficient time to recover after the test
Inform the patient of their lung volume values, if permitted by local protocols; if appropriate, provide a comparison with their previous results or predicted values
Healthcare professionals who interpret spirometry are encouraged to explain results to their patients and provide comparisons to normal values