Inhaled medication is the cornerstone of the pharmacological treatment of patients with asthma and COPD. According to The Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) 70 to 80 % of patients have poor inhaler technique. This leads to poor disease control hence poor disease outcomes and costs. Even with clear inhalation instructions and regular monitoring by health caregivers, the amount of patients who suffer from serious technique errors remains high. We developed a study design that will lead to answering our main research question: can we improve inhaler technique by a didactic based teaching method to transfer clear inhaler instructions to patients?
The aim of our research project is threefold. First, we want to explore the reasons why asthma and COPD patients who received inhaler instructions and training make errors while using their inhaler devices. It is therefore necessary to disentangle their mind-set towards inhaler therapy. For this purpose, we use semi-structured interviews in different patient age categories of patients: 0 – 16 year (children), 16 – 25 year (adolescents), 25 – 65 year (grown-ups) and 65+ (older people). After these patients interviews we will organize focus groups with healthcare professionals to discuss the findings.
Our second aim is to develop a didactic-based teaching method for transferring effective inhaler instructions to patients with asthma and COPD. This training will be based in the results from the interviews and the focus groups.
Finally, the effectiveness of this training method will be evaluated in a randomized controlled trail.