Inhaler technique maintenance: gaining an understanding from the patient's perspective

Ludmila Ovchinikova, Lorraine Smith, Sinthia Bosnic-Anticevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Background. The aim of this study was to determine the patient-, education-, and device-related factors that predict inhaler technique maintenance. Methods. Thirty-one community pharmacists were trained to deliver inhaler technique education to people with asthma. Pharmacists evaluated (based on published checklists), and where appropriate, delivered inhaler technique education to patients (participants) in the community pharmacy at baseline (Visit 1) and 1 month later (Visit 2). Data were collected on participant demographics, asthma history, current asthma control, history of inhaler technique education, and a range of psychosocial aspects of disease management (including adherence to medication, motivation for correct technique, beliefs regarding the importance of maintaining correct technique, and necessity and concern beliefs regarding preventer therapy). Stepwise backward logistic regression was used to identify the predictors of inhaler technique maintenance at 1 month. Results. In total 145 and 127 participants completed Visits 1 and 2, respectively. At baseline, 17% of patients (n = 24) demonstrated correct technique (score 11/11) which increased to 100% (n = 139) after remedial education by pharmacists. At follow-up, 61% (n = 77) of patients demonstrated correct technique. The predictors of inhaler technique maintenance based on the logistic regression model (X2 (3, N = 125) = 16.22, p = .001) were use of a dry powder inhaler over a pressurized metered-dose inhaler (OR 2.6), having better asthma control at baseline (OR 2.3), and being more motivated to practice correct inhaler technique (OR 1.2). Conclusion. Contrary to what is typically recommended in previous research, correct inhaler technique maintenance may involve more than repetition of instructions. This study found that past technique education factors had no bearing on technique maintenance, whereas patient psychosocial factors (motivation) did.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)616-624
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • asthma control
  • dry powder inhaler
  • education
  • motivation
  • pharmacy


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