How Confident Are You About Medication Delivery?

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Who is more confident about medication delivery, those who use nebulizers, dry powder inhalers, or metered dose inhalers? The answer is in:  those who use nebulizers, according to a new study published in the Journal of the COPD Foundation. A substantially greater number of patients who use nebulizers (82%) are "very confident about medication delivery" compared to those who use dry powder inhalers (51%), metered dose inhalers (57%), or soft mist inhalers (62%). In addition, patients who used nebulizers were most confident that they were using their devices correctly.

This is especially important because a 2011 study by Melani and others demonstrated that device misuse was associated with an increased risk of hospitalization, emergency department visits, and poor disease control. Similarly, Loh and colleagues showed that suboptimal peak inspiratory flow (the measure of a patient's inspiratory effort), which is associated with the misuse of dry powder inhalers, increased the risk for hospital readmissions.

The study, led by Nicola Hanania, MD at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, was conducted using a quantitative, web-based survey targeting randomly chosen patients with self-identified COPD in the US.