Precision and Accuracy of Self-measured Peak Expiratory Flow Rates in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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The precision and accuracy of self-measured peak expiratory flow rates (PEFR) have not been determined for patients with chronic olstructive pullnonary disease (COPD).


Twenty-eight male veterans recorded their PEFR twice daily, before and after bronchodilators, for 6 months. Spirolnetry was also done in the pulmonary function laboratory up to 11 times per patient during the observation period. A 4-week “baseline” was identified for each patient. Baseline coefficients of variation (CV) were calculated for the morning (AM) and evening (PM) PEFR, before (PRE) and after (POST) bronchodilators.


The baseline CVs for AMPRE, AMPOST, PMPRE and PMPOST were 14.9±6.9%

12.6±5.6%, 14.9±4.8%, and 11.2±6.0%, respectively. There were strong correlations between self-mcasurcd PEFR and values obtained in the pulmonary function laboratory on the same day.


Self-measured PEFRs are reasonably precise and accurate in patients with, COPD.

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