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Inhaler technique in older people in the community

Ho, Shu F., O'Mahony, Marcella Sinead, Steward, John, Breay, Patricia and Burr, Michael Leslie 2004. Inhaler technique in older people in the community. Age and Ageing 33 (2) , pp. 185-188. 10.1093/ageing/afh062

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Background: good inhaler technique and medication concordance is important for symptom and disease control in chronic airways disease. Objectives: establish the prevalence of inhaler use; the main inhaler devices used by older people at home; their ability to use the inhalers they have been prescribed; and the relationship between perceived ease of use and actual performance. Design: cross-sectional population based study. Subjects: subjects aged 70 years and over living at home. Methods: 500 subjects were randomly selected from 5,002 subjects aged 70 years and over living at home. Inhalers used over the previous 24 hours were identified by a nurse on home visit. Those with cognitive impairment were excluded. Inhaler system was assessed and graded by a doctor as acceptable (perfect or minor errors) or unacceptable (major errors), using previously published criteria. Perceived ease of use of the device was rated as easy, moderate or difficult. Results: 423 subjects participated in the study. The population prevalence of inhaler use was 15.8% (12.0, 19.7). Of the 91 inhaler devices used, 39 (42.8%) were metered dose inhalers, 34 (37.4%) were metered dose inhalers with large volume spacers, and 18 (19.8%) were breath-actuated devices. Thirty-two subjects (82.1%) using metered dose inhalers had an acceptable technique compared with 33 (97.1%) of those using metered dose inhalers with large volume spacers and 13 (72.2%) of those using breath-actuated devices (P < 0.05). Up to three quarters of inhalers were considered easy to use but 12% of subjects who rated their inhaler device as being easy to use made major errors. Conclusion: metered dose inhaler was the most frequently prescribed inhaler and was used correctly by most subjects especially in combination with large volume spacers. Major errors were more common with breath-actuated devices. Inhaler technique should be checked as patients’ perception of their inhaler skills correlates poorly with actual performance.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: older people; population study; inhaler use and technique
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0002-0729
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2023 01:31

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