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Respir Med. 2011 Dec;105(12):1815-22. doi: 10.1016/j.rmed.2011.07.004. Epub 2011 Jul 28.

Inhaler technique and asthma: feasability and acceptability of training by pharmacists.

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Service de Pneumologie, Hôpital Ambroise Paré, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, France.


Poor inhaler technique is frequent in asthma, but its long-term consequences have been seldom assessed. Pharmacists are ideally positioned to teach inhaler technique. This prospective observational study evaluated the feasibility of inhaler training by pharmacists in patients receiving inhaled corticosteroids by pressurised metered-dose inhaler (pMDI) or breath-actuated MDI. In parallel, the relationships between inhaler technique, adherence, and asthma control, and their modulation one month after training were assessed. Of 727 patients receiving training at pharmacies (n=123), 61% were prescribed a pMDI; 35%, an Autohaler(®); and 5%, an Easi-Breathe(®) inhaler. Poor asthma control (Asthma Control Questionnaire score ≥ 1.5) at baseline was significantly (p<0.05) and independently associated with poor inhaler technique and poor self-reported adherence (Morisky score ≥ 3). The percentage of patients with optimal inhaler technique rose from 24% before to 79% after training (p<0.001). Median training session length was 6 min. At 1 month, mean (SD) ACQ score had improved from a baseline score of 1.8 (1.2) to 1.4 (1.1), (p<0.001). Importantly, greater change was observed in patients with improved inhaler technique versus those without. Similar results were observed for Morisky score. Inhaler technique is associated with adherence and influences asthma control. Inhaler training by pharmacists is feasible and seams to improve inhaler technique, asthma control and adherence.

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