Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Spacer compliance after discharge following a mild to moderate asthma attack
  1. N G Cheng,
  2. G J Browne,
  3. L T Lam,
  4. R Yeoh,
  5. M Oomens
  1. The Emergency Department, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr G J Browne, Emergency Department, Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia;


Aim: To assess MDIS usage in patients discharged from a children’s hospital emergency department following a mild to moderate asthma attack.

Methods: Prospective observational study of 73 consecutive patients presenting to a children’s hospital emergency department with a mild to moderate asthma attack. Demographic data, whether asthma literature/written MDIS instructions were provided, and who provided MDIS instructions (either a discharge coordinator or other emergency department staff) were noted. Parents of patients were telephoned after the first week following discharge and questioned about patient improvement, MDIS use/reasons for not using MDIS, and unscheduled presentations to their local doctor or hospital.

Results: Following discharge, 50/73 (68.5%) patients used MDIS exclusively (compliers), while 23/73 used nebulisers some or all of the time (non-compliers). There was no difference in patient improvement or unscheduled presentations between compliers and non-compliers. Most non-compliers 14/23 (60.9%) changed because of parental preference; ease of nocturnal nebuliser use was a possible factor. Compliance was associated with the age of the patient, spacer usage at hospital, the size of device used at hospital, and whether an information fact sheet was given.

Conclusions: Most children discharged from the emergency department following a mild to moderate asthma attack continue MDIS use exclusively in the first week. MDIS compliance may be associated with knowledge, experience, and ease of spacer usage. The study shows that education for parents is crucial for MDIS compliance.

  • acute asthma
  • spacer
  • compliance

Statistics from


    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.