HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Beyond Access: Factors Associated With Spirometry Underutilization Among Patients With a Diagnosis of COPD in Urban Tertiary Care Centers.
Baldomero AK, Kunisaki KM, Bangerter A, Nelson DB, Wendt CH, Fortis S, Hagedorn H, Dudley RA. Beyond Access: Factors Associated With Spirometry Underutilization Among Patients With a Diagnosis of COPD in Urban Tertiary Care Centers. Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (Miami, Fla.). 2022 Oct 26; 9(4):538-548.
Many patients with suspected chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) do not undergo spirometry to confirm the diagnosis. Underutilization is often attributed to barriers to accessing spirometry.
Our objective wasto identify factors associated with spirometry underutilization for patients who are less likely to face access barriers related to travel, insurance, and availability of spirometry.
A retrospective analysis was conducted of patients enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration and living in urban areas with a new diagnosis of COPD between 2012 to 2015, reducing out-of-pocket cost and travel barriers, respectively. We included only patients whose primary care clinic was located in an academically affiliated tertiary level facility with spirometry available. We used logistic regression to estimate associations between patient characteristics and receipt of spirometry within 2 years before or after COPD diagnosis.
Of 24,300 patients, 59.7% had spirometry. Compared to patients < 55 years, patients 75-84 years had an adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of undergoing spirometry of 0.80 (95% confidence interval [CI]:0.72-0.90), while patients = 85 years had an aOR of 0.47 (95%CI: 0.40-0.54). Compared to patients with a Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) = 3, patients with a CCI of 0 had an aOR of 0.60 (95%CI:0.54-0.67). Patients who had not seen a pulmonary specialist had lower odds of receiving spirometry (aOR 0.38 [95%CI:0.35-0.41]).
Spirometry underutilization persists among patients who are less likely to have access barriers related to travel, insurance, and availability of spirometry. Spirometry underutilization is associated with older age, not having received pulmonary care, and having fewer comorbidities. COPD care quality initiatives will need to address these factors.