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The use of multiple respiratory inhalers requiring different inhalation techniques has an adverse effect on COPD outcomes

Authors Bosnic-Anticevich S, Chrystyn H, Costello RW, Dolovich MB, Fletcher MJ, Lavorini F, Rodríguez-Roisin R, Ryan D, Wan Yau Ming S, Price DB

Received 14 July 2016

Accepted for publication 14 September 2016

Published 21 December 2016 Volume 2017:12 Pages 59—71

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/COPD.S117196

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell


Sinthia Bosnic-Anticevich,1 Henry Chrystyn,2 Richard W Costello,3,4 Myrna B Dolovich,5 Monica J Fletcher,6 Federico Lavorini,7 Roberto Rodríguez-Roisin,8 Dermot Ryan,9,10 Simon Wan Yau Ming,2 David B Price2,11

1Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, School of Medical Sciences, University of Sydney and Sydney Local Health District, Sydney, NSW, Australia; 2Observational and Pragmatic Research Institute Pte Ltd, Singapore; 3RCSI Medicine, Royal College of Surgeons, 4RCSI Education & Research Centre, Beaumont Hospital, Beaumont, Dublin, Ireland; 5Department of Medicine, Respirology, McMaster University, ON, Canada; 6Education for Health, Warwick, UK; 7Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence, Florence, Italy; 8Respiratory Institute, Hospital Clinic, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; 9Optimum Patient Care, Cambridge, 10Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, 11Academic Primary Care, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK

Background: Patients with COPD may be prescribed multiple inhalers as part of their treatment regimen, which require different inhalation techniques. Previous literature has shown that the effectiveness of inhaled treatment can be adversely affected by incorrect inhaler technique. Prescribing a range of device types could worsen this problem, leading to poorer outcomes in COPD patients, but the impact is not yet known.
Aims: To compare clinical outcomes of COPD patients who use devices requiring similar inhalation technique with those who use devices with mixed techniques.
Methods: A matched cohort design was used, with 2 years of data from the Optimum Patient Care Research Database. Matching variables were established from a baseline year of follow-up data, and two cohorts were formed: a “similar-devices cohort” and a “mixed-devices cohort”. COPD-related events were recorded during an outcome year of follow-up. The primary outcome measure was an incidence rate ratio (IRR) comparing the rate of exacerbations between study cohorts. A secondary outcome compared average daily use of short-acting beta agonist (SABA).
Results: The final study sample contained 8,225 patients in each cohort (mean age 67 [SD, 10], 57% males, 37% current smokers). Patients in the similar-devices cohort had a lower rate of exacerbations compared with those in the mixed-devices cohort (adjusted IRR 0.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.80–0.84) and were less likely to be in a higher-dose SABA group (adjusted proportional odds ratio 0.54, 95% CI 0.51–0.57).
Conclusion: COPD patients who were prescribed one or more additional inhaler devices requiring similar inhalation techniques to their previous device(s) showed better outcomes than those who were prescribed devices requiring different techniques.

Keywords: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, inhalation technique, exacerbations, inhaler devices, observational, matched cohort

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