Identifying critical errors: addressing inhaler technique in the context of asthma management

Sinthia Z. Bosnic-Anticevich, Biljana Cvetkovski, Elizabeth A. Azzi, Pamela Srour, Rachel Tan, Vicky Kritikos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


Medication use has always played a highly significant role in the overall management of asthma, with appropriate use being linked to good asthma control. However, while patients with asthma enjoy the ‘luxury’ of having medications delivered directly to the lungs via inhaler devices, with that comes the additional challenge of ensuring that inhaler devices are used correctly. Research and practice provides evidence to the challenges associated with inhaler use and the particular steps that patients perform incorrectly. While this problem is well documented, acknowledged and reported, little has changed in 40 years, and the proportion of patients using inhaler devices remains unacceptably high. This review focuses on aspects specific to the errors that patient’s make, the significance of these errors, and the important considerations for health care practitioners in supporting patients in correctly using their inhalers. This review highlights the complexities associated with patient’s making inhaler technique errors and highlights the opportunities that lie in future technological developments of inhaler devices. Now more than ever, in the era of precision medicine, it is important that we address inhaler technique use once and for all.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalPulmonary Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Asthma control
  • Critical errors
  • Health behavior
  • Health care practitioners
  • Inhaler devices
  • Maintenance
  • Mastery
  • Skills


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