Poor pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI) technique is prevalent, which will diminish treatment gains. In a two-visit study, two novel pMDI training devices with feedback mechanisms; Trainhaler (THR) and Flo-Tone CR (FTCR), were evaluated alongside the traditional verbal inhaler training (VT) in asthma outpatients.
On visit 1, 18-60 year-old asthmatics with incorrect pMDI use [including peak inhalation flow (PIF) >60 L/min] signed consent and baseline pMDI technique, lung function, asthma control and quality-of-life were measured. Participants were randomized to receive pMDI technique training using VT, THR or FTCR. One hour post-training, the pMDI coordination and PIF were re-assessed. The THR and FTCR patients were given their assigned tools to take home to facilitate regular training. All outcomes were re-evaluated 6-8 weeks later (visit 2).
Ninety-two asthmatics completed visit 1 (46 attended visit 2). Pre-training, 61.3% (VT), 61.5% (THR) and 65.0% (FTCR) patients similarly made ≥2 pMDI errors with mean PIFs 175.2, 187.1 and 158.9 L/min, respectively. pMDI use was significantly improved 1 h post-training. The subjects that completed visit 2 had significantly, yet equally, maintained the improved inhaler use; only 28.0% (VT), 26.2% (THR) and 21.7% (FTCR) patients made ≥2 pMDI errors with PIF improvements; 115.3, 94.6 and 96.1 L/min, respectively. Clinical outcomes remained comparable.
VT improves the overall pMDI technique, however patients gradually forget their VT. The THR and FTCR devices are retained by the patients as their self-monitoring, all-time personal trainers that boost and maintain their VT between routine clinic visits.

2020 Journal of Thoracic Disease. All rights reserved.