Majority of Asthma Patients Do Not Use Inhalers Correctly

Rana Suzette Bonds, MD The University of Texas Medical Interview with:
Rana Suzette Bonds, MD
The University of Texas Medical Branch

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Bonds: Both anaphylaxis and asthma can be life threatening disorders requiring prompt treatment. Each disorder can be successfully treated with medication which is delivered by devices designed for self-administration. Unfortunately there has been evidence in the literature that patients frequently do not use the devices appropriately. We sought to determine which factors were associated with incorrect use of metered dose inhalers and epinephrine autoinjectors, and to determine if rates of correct use have improved since earlier reports.

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings?

Dr. Bonds: Sixteen percent of patients used the epinephrine autoinjector properly and 7 percent of patients used the metered dose inhaler correctly. The most common error with the autoinjector was not holding the unit in place for at least 10 seconds after triggering. For patients using the metered dose inhaler the most commonly missed step was exhaling to functional residual capacity or residual volume prior to actuating the canister. Male sex, Caucasian race, and previous medical education correlated with correct use of epinephrine autoinjector device.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Bonds: Most patients are not able to demonstrate correct use metered dose inhalers and epinephrine autoinjectors. Because these devices are critical to the treatment of asthma and anaphylaxis it is important to ensure that patients can use them properly. In our study experience all patients were able to demonstrate correct use after coaching, so we recommend periodic re-training on correct technique of device use.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Bonds: An important question for future research is “why do patients not use the devices properly?” The next question is “what can be done to improve rates of correct use?” These are two key areas for future research in this area.


Misuse Of Medical Devices Among Patients In a Tertiary Care Allergy/Immunology Practice
Cited in Scopus:
Rana S. Bonds, Aasia I. Ghazi
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Vol. 133, Issue 2, AB156
Published in issue: February, 2014 Interview with: Rana Suzette Bonds, MD (2015). Majority of Asthma Patients Do Not Use Inhalers Correctly 

[wysija_form id=”2″]

Last Updated on March 1, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD