Inhaler errors and asthma control – largest ever survey

PUBLISHED 30th October 2017

Over the past few years I have had the privilege of working on a very large European observational study which set out to investigate the scale of use errors when asthma patients use their inhalers.

The CRITIKAL study set out to establish the scale of use error, and also (for the first time) to try to identify which use errors were associated with poor asthma symptom control.  Sponsored by Mundipharma, and taking 5 years, the study is the largest every survey of inhaler technique.

Nearly 5,000 patients using a range of inhalers had their inhaler technique checked by their own GP using a standardised questionnaire, and at the same time their asthma control was also evaluated. The numbers were crunched, to explore the relationship between the two data sets.

The analysis found a clear, direct relationship between inhaler technique and asthma control. Basically, poor inhaler technique is directly related to loss of asthma control. For example, it showed that 25% of MDI users press the can before they inhale, and this is linked to reduction in their asthma control. And for DPIs, it found that about a third of patients use insufficient inspiratory effort. Again, this was linked to poor asthma control.

The data is now finally being published here – (note; behind a paywall)…https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28286157