The effect of telepharmacy counseling on metered-dose inhaler technique among adolescents with asthma in rural Arkansas

Telemed J E Health. 2001 Fall;7(3):207-17. doi: 10.1089/153056201316970902.


The increased prevalence, morbidity, mortality, and health costs associated with asthma among children suggest the need for accessible asthma education. This study examined the effect of telepharmacy counseling, using interactive compressed video, on metered-dose inhaler (MDI) technique and patient satisfaction among adolescents with asthma in rural Arkansas. The telepharmacy counseling provided accessible education regarding MDI technique for adolescents in this study. Twenty percent of the adolescents who participated had never been shown the appropriate use of an MDI. The study used an experimental design with random assignment of participants to a telepharmacy counseling group (n = 15) or a control group (n = 21). Both groups participated in pre-test, post-test, and 2- to 4-week follow-up assessments for MDI technique and patients satisfaction (follow-up assessment only) via interactive compressed video. Results indicated that from pre-test to follow-up the telepharmacy counseling group showed more improvement in MDI technique than participants in the control group (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference between the telepharmacy counseling group and control group in satisfaction with the instructional sessions (p = 0.132). Both groups had high levels of satisfaction with the telepharmacy sessions. The study findings demonstrated that patient education provided by pharmacists via interactive compressed video was superior to education provided via written instructions on an inhaler package insert. Interactive compressed video is an effective medium for teaching and improving MDI technique in this rural, adolescent, predominantly African-American population.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Arkansas
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Community Pharmacy Services*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Rural Population
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine / methods*