Handheld flow meter improves COPD screening despite questionnaire use
Use of the handheld flow meter (HFM), regardless of using a symptom-based questionnaire, proves beneficial in detecting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a recent study has shown.
The investigators sought to identify the benefit of utilizing an HFM in COPD screening among 2,008 participants aged ≥40 years from Isumi City, Japan. They developed two novel point systems for detecting COPD: one incorporated score of HFM alone (sHFM) and the other incorporated the score of International Primary Care Airway Group questionnaire (IPAG) and HFM (sIPAG + HFM).
Random sample allocation (split-sample validation) was conducted to validate the predictive performance of these models. To perform the split-sample validation, participants were assigned to either of the following data set: model creation (n=1,007) or model assessment (n=1,001).
In decision curve analysis, sHFM and sIPAG + HFM both had significantly higher net benefit and specificity than that of the sIPAG. However, the curves of sHFM and sIPAG + HFM were crossing and practically the same with no significant difference in sensitivity and specificity.
“This study confirms that HFM is significantly advantageous in detecting COPD despite the use of a conventional questionnaire,” the investigators said.
These findings are consistent with those of a 2011 study, which suggested that using both the IPAG questionnaire and the handheld PiKo-6 spirometer can increase the possibility of an early and accurate diagnosis of COPD in the primary care setting. [Prim Care Respir J 2011;20:184-189]