OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the level of understanding about the easy availability of spirogram in the outpatient department (OPD) of tertiary level hospital Peshawar and the growing awareness of spirogram among general practitioners for the diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) , which is diagnostic and at the same time cost effective as well.
METHODS: This interventional study with cross sectional design was carried out in the outpatient department (OPD) of pulmonology department, Lady Reading Hospital of Peshawar from January 2011 to May 2012. Sample size was taken as 2000. All these patients were divided into two equal groups. The subjects’ understudies were GPs and the local community. GROUP I patients included patients that were primarily referred by general practitioners (GPs) to the Respiratory care physicians for suspicion of COPD in them (they were not aware of spirogram), while GROUP II comprised those patients that had voluntarily done consultation with the Respiratory Care Physician by itself to rule out COPD in them because of their smoking history (they were aware of spirogram as well). Informed consent was taken from all patients included in the study and pulmonary function tests (PFTs) were done by PFT assistants by using a medical device called a spirometer. Data was entered in SPSS Vs 16 and was statistically analyzed. Chi square test was applied to compare the diagnosis of COPD between 2 groups. P-value < 0.01 was considered significant.
RESULTS: Male to Female ratio was 1.6:1 in this study. Mean age (in years) of male patients in Group I was 43+16 Standard Deviation (SD) and 40+15 SD was of female, whereas Mean age for Male patients in Group II was 46+14 SD and 43+16 SD for female patients. In Group I 444(44.4%) were diagnosed as COPD, while in Group II 188 patients (18.8%) were having COPD. Chi square test was applied to compare the diagnoses of COPD in both groups and P-Value = 0.001, which was considered statistically significant.
CONCLUSION: In Group I, 44.4% of patients were diagnosed as COPD, while in Group II only 18.8% were diagnosed as COPD. This huge difference between two groups is the patients referred by GPs to respiratory care physicians, which clearly shows the awareness of GPs about spirogram for the diagnosis of COPD, which was achieved through COPD awareness campaign conducted in 2010 in Peshawar8 and the significance of spirogram has been increasingly recognized day by day.
Awareness about spirogram; PFTs; COPD, OPD;