Asthma and COPD are leading causes of disability-adjusted life-years worldwide representing a huge burden on the health system and among patients. One of the reasons for the lack of disease control is poor inhalation technique, with impact on quality of life and symptom control.
To assess the effectiveness of a community pharmacist-led educational intervention on asthma and COPD patients’ inhalation technique.
The INspira study is a 6-month pilot cluster randomized controlled trial, conducted in community pharmacies of Portugal, enrolling adults aged 18 years or older, with a self-reported diagnosis of asthma or COPD and on inhaled therapy. Pharmacies were randomly allocated to Intervention or Control group. Intervention focused mainly on inhalation technique education via demonstration and repetition. Primary outcome was the proportion of patients scoring 100% in at least one inhaler.
From January to November 2019, 48 pharmacies recruited 201 asthma and COPD patients, of which 132 completed the 6-month follow-up. At the end of follow-up, the odds of intervention group patients score 100% compared to the control group were 5.63 (95% CI, [2.21; 14.35]) in all inhalers in use and 6.77 (95% CI, [2.52; 18.20]) considering at least one inhaler. Intervention group patients reported having a significantly lower number of scheduled appointments compared with the control group (OR = 0.17; 95% CI, [0.037; 0.79]; p = 0.0135). No other significant differences were found between groups.
This pilot study suggested that pharmacist interventions can improve patients’ inhalation technique, with possible positive impact in healthcare resource use.

Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.