Who will teach the teachers: An analysis of the inhaler technique of Indian patients and health care providers in a tertiary health care centre.

The proper use of inhalers is essential for ensuring proper control of the disease. Various studies have shown high levels of improper use and lack of knowledge of the correct technique among patients with asthma. However, less data are available on how health care workers (HCW’s) use inhalers.

The study was conducted at a Tertiary Care Hospital in Mumbai. We evaluated the pMDI technique in 141 consecutive adult asthmatics and 100 HCW’s. All patients and HCW’s were graded out of 10 points for following 10 steps. These were derived from Melani et al.’s study on inhaler mishandling.

Techniques of 141 patients and 100 HCW’s (55 nurses and 45 doctors) were analyzed. The average technique score among patients ranged from 0 to 10 with a mean of 4.65 ± 2.00. The combined score for health workers ranged from 3 to 9 with a mean of 5.45 ± 1.47. Doctors had a higher score of 6.35 ± 1.33 as opposed to the nurses’ score of 4.70 ± 1.13 (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference between scores of nurses and patients (P > 0.05).

Our study highlights the need for better education of not only patients but also health care providers regarding the appropriate use of inhaler devices in order to achieve optimal control of obstructive airway diseases.

Health care workers; inhaler technique; patients

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