Capital Souffle: results of a 2005 public awareness campaign about breath measurements in France

Presse Med. 2007 Jun;36(6 Pt 1):824-31
Collectif Capital Souffle.

AIM: A national public awareness campaign (Capital Souffle, or Breath Matters) about prevention and detection of chronic obstructive respiratory diseases was carried out in seven large French cities. The principal objective was to collect demographic and respiratory-related characteristics and increase population awareness of breath measurements for detecting chronic obstructive respiratory diseases, particularly asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The secondary objective was to assess the immediate impact of lung function measurements on the subjects who participated in the campaign.

METHODS: This multicenter cross-sectional survey was conducted in October and November 2005 in 7 large French cities. Subjects completed 2 questionnaires, one collecting demographic and medical, especially respiratory-related, data and the second assessing subjects' response to the campaign. Data collection was completed by measurement of their FEV1/FEV6 ratio with an electronic pocket spirometer.

RESULTS: Data from 8294 questionnaires could be analyzed: 14.4% of subjects reported having asthma and 4.1% COPD. Approximately 10% reported they were followed by a physician for a chronic respiratory disease. Half were current (28.5%) or former (21.9%) smokers, who began smoking at a median age of 17 years (10-50). The FEV1/FEV6 ratio was normal (>80%) in 79.4% of subjects, required further monitoring in 15.5% (70-80%) and abnormal (<70%) in 5.1%. In all 1416 subjects (17.1%) had a FEV1/FEV6 ratio that was either abnormal or required follow-up and were not followed by a physician for respiratory disease. This campaign produced a high level of public awareness: 85.8% of subjects reported they wanted to know more about respiratory health, 64% said they would discuss it with their physician and 62.7% that the campaign would encourage them to take their medication.

PERSPECTIVES: This survey demonstrates the feasibility of a national public awareness campaign about chronic respiratory diseases in France, based on a simple lung function measurement. The immediate impact of the campaign was high. Additional studies are necessary to determine the number of chronic respiratory disease diagnosed and managed by physicians.




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