Enhancing adherence to inhaled therapies in cystic fibrosis

Ther Adv Respir Dis. 2014 Apr;8(2):39-47. doi: 10.1177/1753465814524471. Epub 2014 Mar 4.


Nonadherence to inhaled therapies is a major problem in the treatment of cystic fibrosis that can influence lung function and health outcomes. Potential contributors to nonadherence have been identified, including demographic and psychosocial factors, time and convenience of inhaled therapy, and treatment beliefs. Additional research is clearly needed to clarify the contributors and to determine which interventions and technological advances will enhance adherence to inhaled therapies in patients with cystic fibrosis. Nurses and allied health professionals are ideally positioned to assist patients and families with adherence to inhaled therapies through monitoring, communication, and education about the available therapies and their proper use. This review briefly summarizes the available evidence about contributors to nonadherence, potential interventions, novel delivery devices for inhaled therapies, and opportunities for additional research.

Keywords: Pseudomonas aeruginosa; adherence; compliance; cystic fibrosis; inhalation; inhaled therapy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Respiratory System Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Respiratory System Agents / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Respiratory System Agents