For asthma patients, not all inhaler devices are created alike. Satisfaction with their inhaler was just one of several factors that predicted a positive outcome in asthma patients, according to a recent study by David Price, MD at the University of Aberdeen, located in the UK. In the study entitled “Inhaler satisfaction improves clinical outcomes for patients with chronic asthma,” published in WAO Journal, Dr. Price recruited 243 asthmatic participants in order to look into what factors predicted good outcome, adherence to treatment, and positive control in asthmatics. Of the 243 asthmatics chosen for the study, a total of 41 percent of the study participants exhibited poor control of their asthmatic condition.
Asthma is a chronic and sometimes life-threatening condition in which a person’s airways spasm in response to several different triggers. Some common asthma triggers including inhaling cold air, exercise, the presence of a respiratory infection, allergies, chemical irritants in the air, and strong emotions. Good airway control is imperative to a better quality of life in asthma, and can even be lifesaving in some circumstances.
In order to assess factors associated with better asthma outcomes, the researchers evaluated each asthmatic participant as to their asthma symptoms, patient demographics, their ability to adhere to asthma treatment, the history of their triggers and when they last occurred, smoking history, and other illnesses the participant had that may have an impact on asthma health.
Dr. Price and his fellow researchers were able to identify several different factors that seemed to be the most likely to be associated with good asthma outcomes. These included the absence of tobacco use on the part of the asthmatic, being better able to adhere to taking asthma medications, having a greater satisfaction with the treatment provided for the participant’s asthma, and not having the comorbidity of allergic rhinitis.
In looking specifically at participant satisfaction with medications given through an inhaled device, the researchers found that there were a few secondary factors influencing the participant’s satisfaction with the inhaler. These included having the perception that the inhaler device delivered the proper and consistent amount of asthma medication into the lungs at each use of the inhaler, how easy it was to use the inhaler, and the presence of a system that indicated how many doses were left in the inhaler.
Among all factors, changing the way inhalers work as well as treating allergic rhinitis were found to be the most manageable. According to Dr. Price, if these issues are addressed by doctors and manufacturers of inhaled devices along with smoking cessation, asthmatics may be able to have better overall asthma outcomes.