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Dry powder inhalers ‘boost asthma adherence’

By Christian Duffin

Asthma patients using dry powder inhalers are more likely to adherence to inhaled corticosteroid therapy than those using metered-dose inhalers, a new study has shown.

Researchers studied 270 adults in New York and New Jersey who were split into two groups who received either a dry powder inhaler or a metered dose inhaler to deliver steroids, then evaluated medication adherence using the medication adherence report scale.

They found 61% of dry powder inhaler users adhered to their inhaled corticosteroids, compared to 39% of metered dose inhaler users.

They also assessed differences in inhaler technique using 'standardised checklists' to establish scores for each group, but they found that there was no significant difference in how well the two groups delivered inhaled corticosteroids to the lungs.

Study leader Dr Angkana Roy, a fellow in paediatric environmental health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, concluded: 'Type of inhaler device appears to be associated with adherence to asthma controller medications. Future studies should evaluate prospectively whether the associations we found can translate into improved self-management among patients with persistent asthma.'

Primary Care Respiratory Journal 2011 published online 24 March

Dry powder inhalers 'boost asthma adherence'