This study compared parents' preference for two spacer devices, NebuChamber and Babyhaler for the treatment of young children with asthma. In this open, cross-over study 141 patients (aged 5-57 mo) who used inhaled steroids via a spacer device were randomized to budesonide via NebuChamber or beclomethasone dipropionate via Babyhaler. Both treatments were given by the parents twice daily for 2 wk. At the final visit parents completed a questionnaire on preference in general and for a given set of features. Acceptability and handling were scored in a diary. Diary scores on acceptability by the child and handling of both spacer devices were comparable. In the preference questionnaire, 68% of parents preferred NebuChamber [95% confidence interval (CI) 60-76] and 25% Babyhaler (95% CI 18-33). The preference was independent of the type of spacer used before the study and was also apparent in the different features: acceptability by child, carrying around, cleaning, close fitting of face mask, assembling and disassembling, damage resistance and size. These differences were statistically significant for all features, except for acceptability by the child.
Conclusion: Two-thirds of parents prefer NebuChamber over Babyhaler for the treatment of their young asthmatic children.