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Are asthma patients or COPD patients more satisfied with their inhaler?

Published online: October 3, 2019

Adherence to treatment is essential to achieving good clinical outcomes, especially among patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). One of the most important factors in treatment adherence is satisfaction with the inhaler. However, little is known about the differences—if any—between patients with asthma and COPD in terms of their degree of satisfaction with their inhalers. Moreover, the factors that influence inhaler satisfaction are only partially understood.

To better understand these questions, Plaza et al. carried out a large, multicenter study involving more than 800 patients with asthma or COPD. The results of their study were recently published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. The main aim of this study was to assess and compare satisfaction with the inhaler in patients with asthma and COPD and to determine the factors that most closely associated with high inhaler satisfaction. The researchers evaluated 816 patients diagnosed with asthma or COPD at 26 different hospitals or primary care centers in Spain. Inhaler satisfaction was assessed with the Feeling of Satisfaction with Inhaler (FSI-10) questionnaire. Two other questionnaires were administered to determine the severity of the patients’ asthma or COPD. After the participants had completed all the questionnaires and other tests, the data were analyzed.

Overall, the results of the satisfaction questionnaire showed that patients with asthma were significantly more satisfied with their inhalers. Interestingly—and somewhat surprisingly—the analysis of the data showed that the specific diagnosis (i.e., asthma vs. COPD) had very little influence on satisfaction. Rather, the main factors related to satisfaction were age, disease control, and previous training in inhalation technique. In other words, younger patients, patients whose condition was well-controlled, and patients who had been trained in how to use the inhaler were all more satisfied.

These findings highlight the need to provide better inhaler training and more active monitoring of inhalation technique in order to improve satisfaction with inhalers, which should in turn increase treatment adherence and improve clinical outcomes, resulting in better quality of life for these patients.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.

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