Inadequate skill of healthcare professionals in using asthma inhalation devices

J Asthma. 2007 Oct;44(8):593-8. doi: 10.1080/02770900701554334.


Inadequate skill in the use of asthma inhalation devices by healthcare professionals has been well documented over the past 25 years. We performed a PubMed search of the English literature for studies regarding skill by physicians, medical students, pharmacists, nurses, and respiratory therapists in using asthma inhalation devices. This review summarizes 20 studies that were identified. Results of these studies consistently showed lack of skill in using metered-dose inhalers, spacers, and dry powder inhalers by a majority of healthcare professionals. National and international guidelines for asthma management include detailed patient education as an essential component of care, yet a large percentage of healthcare professionals are not competent in using inhalation devices. Practical solutions to this problem are needed to enhance the care of asthma patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Metered Dose Inhalers*
  • Patient Education as Topic


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents