Background The prevalence of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Japan is estimated to be approximately three million and five million, respectively, and inhalation has gained widespread use as a long-term treatment modality. Thus, patient education on the purpose of medication and correct inhalation technique is essential for obtaining sufficient therapeutic benefit. In our region, to offer each patient correct inhalation treatment and improve treatment efficacy and quality of life, we prepared unified inhalation guidance documents and developed a system of cooperation between physicians, hospital pharmacists and community pharmacies.
Purpose To assess the benefits and problems of our guidance documents and cooperation system.
Materials and Methods A total of 162 Japanese patients were enrolled for instruction on inhalation treatment from August 2011 to August 2012. We investigated inhalation techniques and learning behaviour based on our unified inhalation guidance documents after patients had received instruction.
Results While 129 (79.6%) patients were instructed on inhaled medication only once, 59 of them (45.7%) were considered to need continuing instruction. Of these 59 patients, 50 (84.7%) used the inhaler device incorrectly and 31 (52.5%) had a lack of understanding of inhalation technique. The other 33 (20.4%) patients were allowed to receive continuing instruction to acquire the correct inhalation technique.
Conclusions In this study, 43.2% were able to acquire the correct inhalation technique with only one teaching session on inhaled medicines, and 20.4% of patients were allowed to receive continuing instruction to acquire the correct inhalation technique. On the other hand, 36.4% did not receive subsequent guidance despite the need for continuous instruction. Therefore, a system that enables us to determine the patients who need continuous instruction is required. Furthermore, correct instruction on inhalation treatment might promise to potentiate clinical efficacy. We plan to establish a more appropriate system and improve information sharing among system users.
No conflict of interest.
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