Adherence to inhaler medications in patients treated for Asthma and COPD

Hussain Ahmad, Nargis Jabeen, Shahid Iqbal, Rukhsana Javed Farooqi, Saadia Ashraf


Background: Non adherence to inhaler medication is a common therapeutic problem in patients treated for Asthma and COPD. We aimed this study to determine the level of adherence to inhaler medications and to know the frequency of etiologic factors for non-adherence.

Material and Methods:  This was a descriptive study conducted at Pulmonology OPD, Khyber teaching hospital Peshawar from 1st Aug 2016 till 31st Jan 2017. All adult patients having Asthma or COPD who were already prescribed at least one regular inhaler for control of their disease were included. Patients with severe exacerbations, unwilling or seriously ill were excluded. After consent, adherence to inhaler medicines was assessed according to Morisky medication adherence scale. The following five reasons for inhaler non-adherence were asked i.e. economic problem, fear of dependence/social stigma, not knowing about un-interrupted use, non-efficacy of inhalers, and adverse effects. The information was collected in a structured proforma and the data was analyzed via spss 19. The results were presented as table/graph.

Results: A total of 120 patients with mean age of 44.9 (±12.24 SD) were interviewed. Males constituted 37.9%. The medication adherence level was high in 28.45%, medium in 19.82% and low in 51.72%. The main reasons for non-adherence included economic problem (60.68 %), not knowing about the regular use (35.9%), social stigma of inhalers/ fear of dependence (28.21 %), non-efficacy of the drug (11.11%) and side effects of inhalers in (6.83%).

Conclusion:  Non adherence to inhaler medication is a common therapeutic problem in our patients with Asthma and COPD and the major reasons for nonadherence include poverty, poor health literacy and social stigma/fear of dependence on inhalers which need to be addressed during management of these chronic disease patients.



Adherence; Inhalers; Morisky scale; P revalence

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