Background: Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) result in more than 1 million hospitalizations annually. Most hospitalized patients misuse respiratory inhalers. This misuse can be corrected with in-person education; however, this strategy is resource intensive and skills wane quickly after discharge.
Objective: The objective of this study was to develop and pilot a virtual teach-to-goal™ (V-TTG™) inhaler skill training module, using innovative adaptive learning technology.
Methods: Eligible adults with asthma or COPD completed a V-TTG™ metered-dose inhaler session with tailored rounds of narrated demonstration and self-assessments. The primary outcome was the proportion of participants with inhaler misuse post- versus pre-V-TTG™; secondary analyses tested mastery, self-efficacy, and perceived versus actual inhaler skills. Analyses were tested with McNemar's χ2 test (P < .05).
Results: Among 90 enrolled participants, the majority were African American (94%), female (62%), and had asthma (68%), with a mean age of 48 years. Among those completing both pre- and post-V-TTG™ (n = 83), misuse was significantly lower post- versus pre-V-TTG™ (24% vs 83%, P < .001). Mastery and confidence both improved significantly (46% vs 7%, P < 0.001; 83% vs 67%, P < .001) post- versus pre-V-TTG™. After V-TTG™, there was greater congruence between perceived versus actual inhaler skills (P < .01). No differences were seen in subgroup analyses for age, health literacy level, or diagnosis.
Conclusions: This study is the first to demonstrate the efficacy of adaptive V-TTG™ learning to teach the inhaler technique. V-TTG™ improved most participants' technique to an acceptable level, reached mastery for half, and also increased self-efficacy and actualized skill. V-TTG™ has potential to improve health care across care transitions.
Keywords: Adaptive learning; Asthma; Care transitions; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Health care; Inhalation devices; Patient education; Pulmonary disease; Technology; Video module education; Virtual education.
Copyright © 2016 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.