WS15: Counselling and practical use of inhaled medications for asthma and COPD

Tina Morgan, University Clinic for Pulmonary and Allergic Diseases Golnik


Studies through years consistently show that a large number of patients (proportions ranging from 1/3 to 45%) make critical errors when using inhaled medication for asthma and COPD treatment.
Furthermore, studies show also that a low proportion of healthcare workers (including doctors, nurses and pharmacists) have good knowledge of inhaler use.
Despite the introduction of new biologic medications in asthma treatment, inhaled medications will be the drugs of choice for a large proportions of patients, the same applies to COPD treatment. Therefore in the near future we cannot forsee a situation when this knowledge will be outdated.
Only active ingagement in observation of inhaler technique in patients is the means to provide meaningful results in this therapeutic field.

Target audience:

The attendants will gain a knowledge of inhalers use and counselling, so thar they will be able to apply it to patient care, but will also be able to contribute to the professional development of other healthcare workers .

Learning Objectives:

- the most common critical errors during inhalation are poor coordination (when using a MDI- metered- dose inhaler) and an inhalation that is too shallow
- the critical difference beteen MDI and DPI (dry powder- inhaler) is the inspiration flow (or force)
- it is possible to teach patients to learn technique by focusing on each step of the inhalation sequence separately
- what effects patients can expect from different types of inhaled medications

Content and Structure:

Participants will get to know critical errors for each type of inhaler, theoretically first.
Then, by means of demonstration of the correct technique to other participants, the individual will learn how to take the medication correctly, and the group will learn how to spot errors upon observation, which is a very complex prctical skill. The last step is how to correct a poor technique in patients.
I will observe and comment the technique of each participant, also trying to teach the correct technique to those having trouble, which is , again, very informative for other participants.
We will try to answer typical asthma and COPD patients' questions about the medications, try to counsel about the expected effects and side efects of medications.

(this is done through observing each of the learners attending the workshop)

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