Education on Correct Inhaler Technique in Pharmacy Schools: Barriers and Needs
Purpose: To investigate the effectiveness of a standard educational module on pharmacy students’ inhaler technique demonstration skills.
Methods: This investigational study was conducted during the Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics tutorial classes in 2011. All fifth-year students were given placebo inhaler devices and information leaflets explaining the use of these devices. Students were then shown, by demonstration, the correct technique for each of the inhalers. All the students were assessed on the use of each of the inhalers two weeks following the tutorial. A validated questionnaire regarding the students’ barriers to demonstrate the correct inhaler technique was completed by all the students. The inhaler techniques emonstrated
were Accuhaler (ACC), Turbuhaler (TH) and metered-dose inhaler (MDI).
Results: Students scored significantly better with ACC with a score of 4.38 ± 1.81 (out of 9.00) than with TH (3.96 ± 1.75 out of 9.00); p = 0.004, and MDI (2.69 ± 1.76 out of 8.00); p < 0.001, based on Friedman test 2 weeks following training. The majority of students (78 %) believed that lack of practice with the devices was the primary barrier to correct inhaler use.
Conclusion: Standard educational training may not be the most appropriate method of teaching students the correct use of inhalers. Clearly, there is a practice element missing which needs to be addressed in a feasible way.
Keywords: Inhaler technique, Pharmacy education, Hands-on training, Training barrier