Background Studies have consistently demonstrated that the correct and effective use of inhaler therapy reduces the frequency and severity of asthma symptoms and thus improves asthma control. Pharmacists are particularly well positioned to educate and train patients in the correct use of their inhaled therapy.1 They are often the last healthcare professionals to have contact with patients prior to the use of prescribed inhaled medication.2 This places pharmacists in an opportune situation for patient counselling with regard to inhaler technique. An extensive literature search revealed that pharmacist-led inhaler technique assessment and training has not, to my knowledge, been carried out in the paediatric population in a hospital setting.
Aim To determine if pharmacist-led inhaler technique assessment, education and training improves asthma control scores in the paediatric population (4–16 years).
Method This prospective single-centre interventional study was undertaken in patients with a confirmed diagnosis of asthma between the 1 st April and 30th June 2014. Those prescribed inhaled therapy prior to attendance at clinic, were referred to the investigating pharmacist. Patients with concurrent respiratory conditions and those under the age of four were excluded. The pharmacist delivered structured inhaler technique assessment and practical training with regard to correct inhaler technique. Additional educational advice was provided and baseline asthma control scores recorded.
Results The results of this study show that inhaler technique assessment, education and training in a single session by a hospital based clinical pharmacist significantly improved ACT scores [Baseline Score=19.33±3.312, Follow-up Score=21.75±2.701, (p=0.04)] and cACT scores [Baseline Score=19.50±4.993, Follow-up Score=21.04±4.647, (p=0.047)].
Conclusion This study shows feasibility and potential for clinical pharmacists in the hospital healthcare setting to provide inhaler technique assessment, education and training for patients with asthma. This study also provides a unique insight into a snapshot of the paediatric population with asthma in Ireland. References 1. Government of Western Australia: DoH (2012). Asthma Model of Care: Respiratory Health Network.
http://www.healthnetworks.health.wa.gov.au/modelsofcare/docs/Asthma_Model_of_Care.pdf [Accessed: 15 September 2014.
Giraud V, Allaert F, Roche N. Inhaler technique and asthma: Feasibility and acceptability of training by pharmacists. Respiratory Medicine2011;105(12):1815–22.
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