Home spirometers are useful for monitoring asthma therapy and for research, but the validity of maneuvers in children is in question. We evaluated the quality of PEF, FEV(1), and FVC data obtained from 67 children with persistent asthma who self-administered spirometry at home using the hand-held ndd EasyOne Frontline Spirometer with full expiratory curve data, electronic measurements of maneuver quality, and on-screen incentives. Half were studied in 2003 in one region, and half in 2004 in another region of Southern California. Subjects were followed at home weekly over 2 months and daily over 10 consecutive days. We retained completed spirometry sessions (9,916) consisting of three of six best maneuvers in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Percent compliance, software assessed repeatability and acceptability modified from American Thoracic Society criteria, and visually assessed quality of maneuvers, were compared across daily and weekly follow-up, study regions, and subject characteristics. Compliance was higher for daily (>90%) than for weekly follow-up (>84%), but not significantly different, and was consistent across subject characteristics. The number with two reproducible and acceptable maneuvers was significantly lower in the first than second region for daily (70 vs. 90%) and weekly follow-up (66 vs. 87%). Of 22,926 software accepted maneuvers, 1,944 (8.5%) were visually rejected (variable effort, cough, glottic closure). Maneuver quality was significantly lower for subjects age 9-12 versus 13-18 years, for subjects not taking anti-inflammatory medications, and for subjects with <80% predicted FEV(1). Longitudinal data collection is possible in children with asthma by employing repeated home training and follow-up, and using spirometers with built in quality assurance and incentive software. Region, age, and multiple indicators of persistent asthma, predict ability to perform reliable and accurate lung function maneuvers.