A cross-sectional study in primary healthcare in Greenland
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalent use of drugs targeting obstructive lung diseases among adults aged 50 or above in Greenland and to assess the use of spirometry testing among these medication users. STUDY DESIGN: Observational cross-sectional study based on reviews of electronic medical records. METHODS: The study was performed in the 6 largest primary healthcare clinics in Greenland, representing approximately 67.0% of the population in Greenland. Adults aged 50 years or above, who had at least one electronically prescribed drug targeting obstructive lung diseases within a 15-month time interval, were identified. We assessed whether a spirometry test was registered in their medical records within previous 2- and 4-year periods. RESULTS: A total of 565 persons were identified. This corresponds to a prevalent medication use of 6.1% (565/9,023) among adults aged 50 years or above. Among these medication users, 14.1% (80/565) had a spirometry test performed within 2 years. Within the 4-year period this increased to 17.9% (101/565). CONCLUSION: The use of medication targeting obstructive lung diseases in Greenland among adults aged 50 years or above is common. However, spirometry testing among medication users is low and interventions aiming to increase focus on spirometry testing should be integrated in the primary healthcare system.
International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 2013, Vol 72