Aleksandra Dudvarski Ilic 1 , 2 , Vladimir Zugic 1 , 2 , Biljana Zvezdin 3 , 4 , Ivan Kopitovic 3 , 4 , Ivan Cekerevac 5 , 6 , Vojislav Cupurdija 5 , 6 , Nela Perhoc 7 , Vesna Veljkovic 7 , Aleksandra Barac 8
06 October 2016
The successful management of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) mostly depends on adherence to inhalation drug therapy, the usage of which is commonly associated with many difficulties in real life. Improvement of patients’ adherence to inhalation technique could lead to a better outcome in the treatment of asthma and COPD.
The aim of this study was to assess the utility of inhalation technique in clinical and functional control of asthma and COPD during a 3-month follow-up.
A total of 312 patients with asthma or COPD who used dry powder Turbuhaler were enrolled in this observational study. During three visits (once a month), training in seven-step inhalation technique was given and it was practically demonstrated. Correctness of patients’ usage of inhaler was assessed in three visits by scoring each of the seven steps during administration of inhaler dose. Assessment of disease control was done at each visit and evaluated as: fully controlled, partially controlled, or uncontrolled. Patients’ subjective perception of the simplicity of inhalation technique, disease control, and quality of life were assessed by using specially designed questionnaires.
Significant improvement in inhalation technique was achieved after the third visit compared to the first one, as measured by the seven-step inhaler usage score (5.94 and 6.82, respectively; P<0.001). Improvement of disease control significantly increased from visit 1 to visit 2 (53.9% and 74.5%, respectively; P<0.001) and from visit 2 to visit 3 (74.5% and 77%, respectively; P<0.001). Patients’ subjective assessment of symptoms and quality of life significantly improved from visit 1 to visit 3 ( P<0.001).
Adherence to inhalation therapy is one of the key factors of successful respiratory disease treatment. Therefore, health care professionals should insist on educational programs aimed at improving patients’ inhalation technique with different devices, resulting in better long-term disease control and improved quality of life.