Assessment of inhalation technique and determinants of incorrect performance among children with asthma

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2006 Nov;41(11):1082-7. doi: 10.1002/ppul.20498.


The objective of our study was to evaluate the pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI) with holding chamber technique of asthmatic children attending out patient pediatric chest clinic and determine factors associated with incorrect technique. All patients had previously received instructions regarding inhalation technique. The inhalation technique was assessed on a five-point checklist, four of which were considered essential. Two hundred and thirteen children (mean +/- SD age, 7.3 +/- 3.8 years; 151 boys) completed the study. Children were using their inhaler for a median duration of 6 months (range 1-96 months). One hundred and eighty-eight patients (88.3%) performed all essential steps correctly. The commonest mistake among the essential steps was not shaking the inhaler (n = 21, 9.9%) followed by inability to make a tight seal around the mouthpiece of the holding chamber (n = 12, 5.6%). Correct technique was not affected by gender, asthma severity and socio-economic indices: education level of parents, percapita monthly income, rural or urban background. Our study indicates that a large majority of children from a developing country setting, irrespective of lower education and income levels can be successfully educated to appropriately use inhalation device. Inhalation performance is not affected by socio-economic background of the patients. Comprehensive inhalation instructions and monitoring at each visit are however critical to ensure reliable and consistent performance of correct technique among asthmatic children.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Developing Countries
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Metered Dose Inhalers*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Self Administration


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents