In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, critical inhaler technique mistakes have been linked to decreased treatment effectiveness (COPD). For a study, researchers sought to determine the relationship between crucial inhaler technique faults and COPD symptoms and exacerbations. COPD-diagnosed main and secondary care outpatients (n=310) exhibited inhaler techniques utilizing their existing inhaler devices. Critical mistakes in the opening, placing, and loading of the inhaler device, as well as exhalation using dry-powder inhalers, were evaluated and repaired, and the evaluation was repeated a year later. At both visits, the COPD Assessment Test, the modified Medical Research Council dyspnoea scale, and a history of exacerbations were gathered.
At follow-up, the proportion of patients who made ≥1 critical inhaler technique error was lower in the overall population (46% vs 37%, P=0.01) and among patients with unchanged device models (46% vs 35%, P=0.02), but not among patients with a new inhaler device model (46% vs 41%, P=0.56). The most prevalent critical mistake during both visits was incorrect device placement (30% and 22%). From baseline through follow-up, 74% of patients received the same COPD therapy. Treatment escalation, de-escalation, and switch were recorded in 14%, 11%, and 1% of the patients, respectively. There was no link seen between major mistakes and COPD symptoms or exacerbations. Critical inhaler technique mistakes were reduced when the inhaler technique was assessed and corrected. The benefit was especially noticeable in patients who used the same device models throughout the study period.