The effect of structured education on inhaler technique

Steven Hickey, Paul Beeson, Sally Furniss, Frances Mulligan-Evans, Emma Ryan, Jenny Keech

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


The aim was to investigate the efficacy of two different education strategies for teaching and maintaining inhaler technique in older patients. In a cluster randomised controlled trial, 136 participants attending a pulmonary rehabilitation course had their inhaler technique assessed. The control group (normal care; n:63) received demonstrations of inhaler devices and their use. They were assessed on their technique following the education. The intervention group (n73) received normal care plus the addition of an inhaler technique information leaflet and 10 minute PowerPoint presentation on inhaler use. Participants were re-assessed 5 weeks after receiving inhaler training for prevalence of good technique. High numbers of poor inhaler technique at day 1 were observed. 115 participants attended the education sessions with 98% (control) and 100% (intervention) achieving the standards for good inhaler technique. At final assessment 91 participants were assessed (43 control, 48 intervention). No difference was found in the prevalence of good technique post training or at final assessment between the two groups. The conclusion is that inhaler technique in older patients is often poor. They are often able to use inhalers correctly when instructed but maintenance of good technique is not prevalent across all devices. In older patients a more structured approach to teaching inhaler technique is no more effective than usual care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPractice Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2017


  • COPD
  • inhalers
  • inhaler technique
  • education


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