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Assessment of inhalation technique among patients attending a tertiary-care hospital

Mukul Saxena, Mohammad Shibly Khan, Anil K Sharma.

Background: A large population in India experience chronic respiratory diseases and get inhaled therapy as treatment. Faulty inhalation techniques among patients lead to improper control of the disease.

Objective: To assess the accuracy of inhalation techniques among patients using dry powder inhalers and its association with certain sociodemographic correlates.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional hospital-based study was conducted at the Department of TB and Chest Diseases, FH Medical College and Hospital, Tundla, Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh. Patients of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchial asthma using dry powder inhalers attending TB and Chest Diseases Outpatient Department and Inpatient Department were observed while using the inhaler. Individual steps of the inhalation technique were analyzed for their correctness and recorded on a predesigned, pretested structured format.

Result: Only 14.9% (14 of 94) patients were observed to be performing all steps correctly. The most crucial steps which most of the subjects were found to be performing incorrectly were found to be forceful inhalation through the mouth (71.7%), slow exhalation (70.2%), breath holding after inhalation (69.1%), and continuing to inhale until lungs were full (44.7%). No significant association was noted between frequency of mistakes and sociodemographic variables such as age, sex, education, or residence.

Conclusion: It was observed that majority of patients were unable to use their inhalers correctly; thus, proper training at each visit should be carried out to get maximum benefit from inhalers.

Key words: Inhaler technique, DPI, COPD, asthma

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