Counseling about turbuhaler technique: needs assessment and effective strategies for community pharmacists

Respir Care. 2005 May;50(5):617-23.


Optimal effects of asthma medications are dependent on correct inhaler technique. In a telephone survey, 77/87 patients reported that their Turbuhaler technique had not been checked by a health care professional. In a subsequent pilot study, 26 patients were randomized to receive one of 3 Turbuhaler counseling techniques, administered in the community pharmacy. Turbuhaler technique was scored before and 2 weeks after counseling (optimal technique = score 9/9). At baseline, 0/26 patients had optimal technique. After 2 weeks, optimal technique was achieved by 0/7 patients receiving standard verbal counseling (A), 2/8 receiving verbal counseling augmented with emphasis on Turbuhaler position during priming (B), and 7/9 receiving augmented verbal counseling plus physical demonstration (C) (Fisher's exact test for A vs C, p = 0.006). Satisfactory technique (4 essential steps correct) also improved (A: 3/8 to 4/7; B: 2/9 to 5/8; and C: 1/9 to 9/9 patients) (A vs C, p = 0.1). Counseling in Turbuhaler use represents an important opportunity for community pharmacists to improve asthma management, but physical demonstration appears to be an important component to effective Turbuhaler training for educating patients toward optimal Turbuhaler technique.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Counseling*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers*
  • Needs Assessment*
  • New South Wales
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Pharmacies*
  • Pharmacists*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Workforce


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents