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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 82-87

Evaluation of inhaler technique and asthma control among children in a low-resource setting

1 Department of Pediatrics, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Fakir Mohan Medical College and Hospital, Balasore, Odisha, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, GITAM Medical College and Hospital, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sai Chandan Das
Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Fakir Mohan Medical College and Hospital, Balasore - 756 019, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijamr.ijamr_20_22

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Background: Inhalation has become the preferred route of drug administration compared to oral medication in managing Asthma due to its direct delivery to the airways, thus producing a faster onset of action and fewer systemic side effects at lower doses than would be required for other routes of administration. Aims and Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the inhaler technique among children with asthma and its association with the level of asthma control and to identify factors associated with improper use of inhaler devices. Materials and Methods: This is a prospective cross-sectional study conducted at the Department of Pediatrics at B. P Koirala Institute of Health Science, university teaching Hospital in Nepal. The children with asthma were asked to use their inhaler device as usual and inhalational technique was assessed using inhaler device assessment tool and control of asthma level was assessed using the Childhood Asthma Control Test score. Results: One hundred and three asthmatic children of the age range of 4–11 years were enrolled in the study. The mean age of surveyed children was 6.3 ± 2.2 years and over half of the participants were boys (68.9%). Around 60% had moderate asthma. Among them, 50% had symptoms for <3 years; only 50% of children with asthma demonstrated good technique of inhaler medication. Forty-five percent of them showed optimal asthma control. Near about a quarter of the participants showed mistakes in one step and about a fifth of the children showed mistakes at more than one step. Almost 30% of children with asthma have not obtained inhaler technique education. Factors associated with poor inhaler technique and poor asthma control were younger age and irregular follow-ups. The most common errors in the proper use of inhalers were not shaking the inhaler before use (30%) and wrong breathing techniques (30%). Conclusions: Improper inhaler technique is common among children with asthma. Children with asthma should have their inhaler technique routinely checked, during visits and should be given detailed education on proper inhalation techniques. Health education programs on asthma control are recommended in countries like Nepal to improve proper asthma inhaler device use and treatment outcomes in children with asthma.

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