Metered-dose inhaler usage in subjects with asthma: comparison of Nebulizer Chronolog and daily diary recordings

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1988 Jul;82(1):5-10. doi: 10.1016/0091-6749(88)90043-7.


The Nebulizer Chronolog (NC) is a portable electronic device that attaches to standard metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) and records and stores the date and time of each MDI actuation. We evaluated the long-term performance of the NC and compared its data to concurrent recordings of self-administered MDI usage in daily diaries. Eighty-three subjects with asthma were evaluated during a 7 1/2-month panel study of air pollution effects. Although 44 (53%) of the NCs developed a malfunction during the study, the average total (+/- SD) percentage of useful days with functioning NCs was still 86 +/- 18% (median 93%). The agreement between the daily diary and NC recordings was very high, that is, 50 (67%) of 75 subjects had perfect agreement. Eighteen subjects with over or under diary reporting were detected. We conclude that the NC is an effective, objective, accurate, and continuous monitor of daily MDI usage despite some remediable technical problems. The NC can facilitate the evaluation of short- and long-term medication usage patterns and compliance issues in MDI-related research and clinical settings.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • California
  • Child
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers*