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J Aerosol Med Pulm Drug Deliv. 2015 Jun;28(3):219-28. doi: 10.1089/jamp.2014.1142. Epub 2014 Sep 29.

Inhaler devices for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: insights from patients and healthcare practitioners.

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1Département de Pharmacologie, CHU de Bordeaux, Universite Bordeaux, INSERM U657, Bordeaux Cedex, France.
2Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland.



The choice of inhaler device for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) depends upon multiple attributes. An online survey was devised to assess COPD patients' and healthcare practitioners' (HCPs; physicians and nurses) opinions and preferences for inhaler devices.


Patients diagnosed with COPD ≥6 months from United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), France, and Germany, and HCPs from the US, UK, France, Italy, and Japan were enrolled to participate in an online quantitative 35 minutes survey. A proprietary analytical tool from Sawtooth Software was used to collect, randomize, and analyze participant opinions and preferences of device attributes, including functionality.


A total of 245 patients (mean age, 60.7 years) completed the survey. Of these, 124 and 121 patients were taking fluticasone/salmeterol, and tiotropium, respectively. Patients cited ease of use, dose recording, and dose capacity (single or multi-dose) as important attributes for the device. Key factors that patients considered would make the device easier to use were fewer steps to operate the inhaler, confirmation that the dose has been taken correctly, easier coordination of breathing manoeuver, and least resistance while inhaling. A total of 504 HCPs (380 physicians and 124 nurses) completed the survey, and cited patient satisfaction and ease of use as the most important attributes when selecting an inhaler device for patients. Dose recording and multi-dose versus single-dose designs were given less importance than other attributes such as patient satisfaction and cost by HCPs.


The survey provides important insights into what patients and HCPs consider to be key attributes of an ideal inhaler device for COPD management. Given that patients with COPD self-administer their COPD chronic medication and need to deliver the correct dose, it is important to consider these insights for the appropriate management of COPD.


chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; healthcare practitioners' preference; inhaler devices; patient preference

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