Self-monitoring asthma control is a key component of asthma management. Few studies have reported usability and acceptability of portable spirometry among young adults with asthma. Portable spirometry offers a practical solution to monitoring airway narrowing at home. The purpose of this paper was to determine if self-administered spirometry is feasible and acceptable in young adults with asthma and whether regular monitoring resulted in improved airway function as measured by forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1).
Sixty-seven young adults (18–26 years) with self-reported asthma participated in a clinical trial during wildfire season which measured FEV1 as an outcome measure. Data was collected at baseline, week 4, and week 8 using a portable spirometer linked to a smartphone application. A subset of intervention participants completed spirometry twice daily. Acceptability of self-administered spirometry was evaluated after the trial among participants that volunteered to submit a survey and be interviewed.
At baseline, all 67 participants (100.0%) completed their scheduled spirometry readings which declined to 94.0% (n = 63) at week 4 and 86.6% (n = 58) at week 8. Daily readings were completed 83.2% of the time in the mornings and 84.3% of the time in the evenings. Mean FEV1 values were lower than predicted values, but above the lower limit of expected. FEV1 remained steady throughout the study period. Over two-thirds of participants used the notes feature in the application and described symptoms, asthma triggers, mitigating actions and test-taking issues.
Young adults in our sample were highly compliant with regular, self-administered spirometry.
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