Information paper

Spirometry Handbook for primary care

The Spirometry Handbook for primary care

A guide to performing and interpreting spirometry for primary care health professionals

About this handbook

The Spirometry Handbook for primary care is intended as a guide for health professionals performing and interpreting spirometry in clinical practice, to ensure that high-quality testing is available and accessible for those with respiratory conditions. 

It was developed by an expert working group of nurses, doctors and respiratory scientists convened by National Asthma Council Australia. 


Working group 2023 edition  

Ms Narelle Williamson, RN Asthma & Respiratory Educator

Mr Trevor Borgas, Respiratory Scientist

NSW Mr Mahesh Dharmakumara, Respiratory Scientist

Ms Marg Gordon, RN Asthma & Respiratory Educator

Ms Lorraine Leversha, Respiratory Scientist

Working group 2020 edition

Ms Marg Gordon (Chair), RN, asthma and respiratory educator
Dr Ian Almond, general practitioner
Ms Kim Bridges, respiratory scientist
Ms Pauline Hughes, respiratory nurse practitioner
Dr Celia Lanteri, respiratory physician
Dr Leanne Rodwell, respiratory scientist
Ms Judi Wicking, RN, asthma and respiratory educator

Other acknowledgements

The first edition of this handbook (1995) was commissioned by the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand and was written by Professor Rob Pierce MD, FRACP, Director, Respiratory Medicine and Sleep Disorders, Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre, Victoria and Associate Professor David P Johns PhD, CRFS, FANZSRS, Adjunct Principal Research Fellow, School of Medicine, University of Tasmania. It was revised by Professor Johns for the July 2004 and March 2008 editions published by National Asthma Council Australia. 

National Asthma Council Australia thanks Professor Johns for reviewing the 2008 edition in preparation for the current edition, Eleonora (Nory) Del Colle for providing data for Figure 4, and Queensland Health Spirometry Training Program for permission to adopt its interpretation algorithm (Figure 11). 

Recommended citation

National Asthma Council Australia. The Spirometry Handbook for primary care. Melbourne; National Asthma Council Australia: 2023. 

© 2023 National Asthma Council Australia

This Handbook is endorsed by the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.


This handbook is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to spirometry. The National Asthma Council Australia expressly disclaims all responsibility (including negligence) for any loss, damage or personal injury resulting from reliance on the information contained herein.

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