Background Studies have consistently demonstrated that the correct and effective use of inhaler therapy reduces the frequency and severity of asthma symptoms and thus improves asthma control. Pharmacists are particularly well positioned to educate and train patients in the correct use of their inhaled therapy.1 They are often the last healthcare professionals to have contact with patients prior to the use of prescribed inhaled medication.2 This places pharmacists in an opportune situation for patient counselling with regard to inhaler technique. An extensive literature search revealed that pharmacist led inhaler technique assessment and training has not, to my knowledge, been carried out in the paediatric population in a hospital setting.
Purpose To determine if pharmacist led inhaler technique assessment, education and training improves asthma control scores in the paediatric population (4–16 years).
Material and methods This prospective single centre interventional study was undertaken in patients (n = 45) with a confirmed diagnosis of asthma between the 1 April and 30 June 2014. Those prescribed inhaled therapy prior to attendance at clinic were referred to the investigating pharmacist. Patients with concurrent respiratory conditions and those <4 years of age were excluded. The investigating pharmacist delivered structured inhaler technique assessment and practical training with regard to correct inhaler technique. Additional educational advice was provided and baseline asthma control test (ACT) scores recorded.
Results The results of this study showed that inhaler technique assessment, education and training in a single session by a hospital based clinical pharmacist significantly improved ACT scores (baseline score=19.33 ± 3.312, follow-up score=21.75 ± 2.701, (p = 0.04)) and childhood ACT (cACT) scores (baseline score=19.50 ± 4.993, follow-up score=21.04 ± 4.647, (p = 0.047)).
Conclusion This study shows the feasibility and potential for clinical pharmacists in the hospital healthcare setting to provide inhaler technique assessment, education and training for patients with asthma. This study also provides a unique insight into a snapshot of the paediatric population with asthma in Ireland.
References and/or Acknowledgements
Government of Western Australia: DoH (2012). Asthma Model of Care: Respiratory Health Network. Available at: http://www.healthnetworks.health.wa.gov.au/modelsofcare/docs/Asthma_Model_of_Care.pdf (Accessed: 15/9/2014)
Giraud, V., Allaert, F. & Roche, N. (2011), “Inhaler technique and asthma: Feasibility and acceptability of training by pharmacists”, Respiratory medicine, vol. 105: no. 12, pp. 1815-1822
References and/or AcknowledgementsNo conflict of interest.
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