Poor turbuhaler technique by community patients

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Turbuhalers™ are breath-actuated dry powder devices. Incorrect Turbuhaler use, particularly a non-vertical position during loading, results in reduced drug delivery. This pilot study was designed to assess the frequency of incorrect Turbuhaler technique in community patients. Methods: Patients were recruited from 6 community pharmacies after filling of a Turbuhaler™ prescription. A structured interview was carried out, including a questionnaire about asthma severity, medications and history of Turbuhaler™ instruction. The patient was asked to demonstrate their use of a placebo Turbuhaler™ th their technique being assessed using a standard 9 point checklist (score 9 = correct technique). Results: 15 patients, aged 35 to 80 participated in the study. 7 (47%) were using a Bricanyl Turbuhaler™, 2 (13%) a Oxis Turbuhaler™ and all 15 a Pulmicort Turbuhaler™. The Turbuhaler™ was prescribed by a physician (n=3) or general practitioner (n=12). All 15 patients had last received Turbuhaler use instruction by their prescribing physician at time of initial prescription (range 3 weeks to 10 years). Two patients (13%) also received instructions from their pharmacists at the same time. Three patients (20%) do not recall ever having received instructions on the correct use of their Turbuhaler™. With direct observation of Turbuhaler™ technique, the median score was 7 (range 5-9). Only one patient (7%) had correct Turbuhaler™ technique, with the most common problem being failure to hold the Turbuhaler vertical during loading (14 patients, 93%). Conclusions: This pilot study showed that poor Turbuhaler™ technique is very common in community patients, and may be related to insufficient provision of instruction about correct technique. These findings have major implications for medication delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)A24
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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