BACKGROUND: Although inhaled medications are effective therapies for COPD, many patients and providers use them incorrectly.
METHODS: We recruited providers who prescribe inhalers or teach inhaler technique and assessed their use of metered-dose inhalers (MDIs), various dry powder inhalers (DPIs), and Respimat using predefined checklists. Then they watched tablet-based multimedia educational videos that demonstrated correct inhaler technique by a clinical pharmacist with teach-back from a patient and were re-evaluated. We also recruited patients with COPD and assessed their use of their prescribed inhalers and then retested them after 3–6 months. Baseline and follow-up respiratory symptoms were measured by the COPD Assessment Test.
RESULTS: Fifty-eight providers and 50 subjects participated. For all providers, correct inhaler technique (reported as percentage correct steps) increased after the videos: MDI without a spacer (72% vs 97%) MDI with a spacer (72% vs 96%), formoterol DPI (50% vs 94%), mometasone DPI (43% vs 95%), tiotropium DPI (73% vs 99%), and Respimat (32% vs 93%) (before vs after, P < .001 for all comparisons). Subjects also improved their inhaler use technique after viewing the educational videos: MDI without a spacer (69% vs 92%), MDI with a spacer (73% vs 95%), and tiotropium DPI (83% vs 96%) (before vs after, P < .001 for all comparisons). The beneficial effect of this educational intervention declined slightly for subjects but was durably improved after several months. COPD Assessment Test scores did not demonstrate any change in respiratory symptoms.
CONCLUSIONS: A tablet-based inhaler education tool improved inhaler technique for both providers and subjects. Although this intervention did show durable efficacy for improving inhaler use by patients, it did not reduce their respiratory symptoms.
- Correspondence: Aaron M Mulhall MD, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Cincinnati Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 3200 Vine Street. Cincinnati, OH 45220. E-mail: .
This work was supported by the Veterans Health Administration Specialty Care Services, Specialty Care Transformation Initiative: Patient Centered Model for the Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The authors have disclosed no conflicts of interest.
Supplementary material related to this paper is available at http://www.rcjournal.com.
Dr Mulhall presented a version of this work at the Chest 2015 meeting, held October 24-28, 2015, in Montreal, Canada.
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