Inhaler education for hospital-based pharmacists: how much is required?

Can Respir J. 1999 May-Jun;6(3):237-44. doi: 10.1155/1999/695365.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adult
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Canada
  • Education, Pharmacy, Continuing / methods*
  • Education, Pharmacy, Continuing / organization & administration
  • Education, Pharmacy, Continuing / standards
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / methods
  • Inservice Training / organization & administration
  • Inservice Training / standards
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Education as Topic / organization & administration
  • Pharmacy Service, Hospital
  • Sampling Studies
  • Teaching / methods


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents