Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Diagnosis of Asthma: Pulmonary Function Criteria

To view the Diagnosis of Asthma: Pulmonary Function Criteria click here.

Note: It is important to note that the initial assessment questions used to identify persons with asthma may also identify persons with COPD, and that they are not meant to diagnose or differentiate between the two conditions. Establishing a diagnosis of COPD and/or asthma requires pulmonary function testing, and cannot be based on a medical history alone. Asthma and COPD can present similarly in terms of symptom experience (i.e., cough, dyspnea, shortness of breath) and the medications used to manage the conditions (i.e., bronchodilators and corticosteroids). A diagnosis of asthma and/or COPD must be made by the appropriate health-care provider.

Chronic Disease
Adult Asthma Care Guidelines for Nurses: Promoting Control of Asthma
Point of Care Resources