Evaluation of a novel educational strategy, including inhaler-based reminder labels, to improve asthma inhaler technique

Patient Educ Couns. 2008 Jul;72(1):26-33. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2008.01.014. Epub 2008 Mar 7.


Objective: To evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of a brief intervention about inhaler technique, delivered by community pharmacists to asthma patients.

Methods: Thirty-one pharmacists received brief workshop education (Active: n=16, CONTROL: n=15). Active Group pharmacists were trained to assess and teach dry powder inhaler technique, using patient-centered educational tools including novel Inhaler Technique Labels. Interventions were delivered to patients at four visits over 6 months.

Results: At baseline, patients (Active: 53, CONTROL: 44) demonstrated poor inhaler technique (mean+/-S.D. score out of 9, 5.7+/-1.6). At 6 months, improvement in inhaler technique score was significantly greater in Active cf. CONTROL patients (2.8+/-1.6 cf. 0.9+/-1.4, p<0.001), and asthma severity was significantly improved (p=0.015). Qualitative responses from patients and pharmacists indicated a high level of satisfaction with the intervention and educational tools, both for their effectiveness and for their impact on the patient-pharmacist relationship.

Conclusion: A simple feasible intervention in community pharmacies, incorporating daily reminders via Inhaler Technique Labels on inhalers, can lead to improvement in inhaler technique and asthma outcomes.

Practice implications: Brief training modules and simple educational tools, such as Inhaler Technique Labels, can provide a low-cost and sustainable way of changing patient behavior in asthma, using community pharmacists as educators.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Asthma / psychology
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Health
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Drug Labeling / methods*
  • Education, Pharmacy, Continuing
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers*
  • New South Wales
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Pharmacies
  • Qualitative Research
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Reminder Systems*
  • Self Administration
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents