Objective: To compare the effectiveness of a more intensive educational intervention with a less intensive intervention on the ability of hospital pharmacists to be prepared to educate patients regarding inhaled device technique.
Design: Randomized controlled trial. Inhaler technique and knowledge were assessed pre-education, immediately after and three months after education by a research assistant blinded to the educational allocation.
Setting: Tertiary hospital pharmacy department.
Population studied: Hospital-based pharmacists.
Intervention: A 1 h 'hands-on' session with feedback (more intense education, MIE) or written materials describing inhaler use (less intense education, LIE).
Main results: The change in overall score from pre-education to early posteducation for MIE was greater than for LIE (mean [95% CI]) (2.64 [1.27 to 4.01] versus 1.26 [0.05 to 2.47], P<0.001). Assessment scores improved for all device demonstrations and general knowledge. The change in score from the pre-education to the late posteducation period was only slightly higher in the MIE group than the LIE group, a difference that was not statistically significant (1.78 [0.82 to 2.74] versus 1. 22 [0.06 to 2.39], P=0.09). Scores in both groups were lower in the late posteducation period compared with the early posteducation period. Greater increases in total score in the immediate posteducation period were associated with a low baseline score and the MIE intervention.
Conclusion: Individual coaching in inhaler technique produces greater improvement in inhaler knowledge among hospital pharmacists than provision of written materials. However, the advantage of the more intensive intervention was short-lived, with little advantage evident in three months.