Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Pulmonary Function

  • Valerie SabolEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_1481-2



Pulmonary function testing (PFT) is a process for assessing functional status of the lungs, for screening obstructive and restrictive lung disease, and for evaluating treatment response (e.g., medications, chest physical therapy). Spirometry, using a spirometer, is the most common of the pulmonary function tests and measures the amount (volume) and the speed (flow) of air that can be inhaled and exhaled. It is designed to measure changes in lung volume and can only measure lung volume compartments that exchange gas with the atmosphere.

In preparation for PFT, bronchodilator medications are typically held so that bronchodilator response can be assessed after baseline spirometry. For example, short-acting inhaled bronchodilators should not be used for 4 h prior to testing; long-acting beta-agonist bronchodilators are typically held for 12 h prior to testing.Notably, the spirometry procedure is highly dependent on individual effort and cooperation and, to...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Culver, B. H., Graham, B. L., Coates, A. L., Wanger, J., Berry, C. E., Clarke, P. K., Hallstrand, T. S., Hankinson, J. L., Kaminsky, D. A., MacIntyre, N. R., McCormack, M. C., Rosenfeld, M., Stanojevic, S., & Weiner, D. J. (2017). ATS Committee on proficiency standards for pulmonary function laboratories. Recommendations for a standardized pulmonary function report. An official American Thoracic Society technical statement. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 196(11), 1463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Holland, A. E., Spruit, M. A., Troosters, T., Puhan, M. A., Pepin, V., Saey, D., McCormack, M. C., Carlin, B. W., Sciurba, F. C., Pitta, F., Wanger, J., MacIntyre, N., Kaminsky, D. A., Culver, B. H., Revill, S. M., Hernandes, N. A., Andrianopoulos, V., Camillo, C. A., Mitchell, K. E., Lee, A. L., Hill, C. J., & Singh, S. J. (2014). An official European Respiratory Society/American Thoracic Society technical standard: Field walking tests in chronic respiratory disease. The European Respiratory Journal, 44(6), 1428–1446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Pellegrino, R., Viegi, G., Brusasco, V., Crapo, R. O., Burgos, F., Casaburi, R., Coates, A., van der Grinten, C. P., Gustafsson, P., Hankinson, J., Jensen, R., Johnson, D. C., MacIntyre, N., McKay, R., Miller, M. R., Navajas, D., Pedersen, O. F., & Wanger, J. (2005). Interpretative strategies for lung function tests. The European Respiratory Journal, 26(5), 948.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Duke UniversitySchool of NursingDurhamUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Barbara Resnick
    • 1
  • Marie Boltz
    • 2
  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of MarylandBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.College of NursingPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA