Researchers from the American College of Chest Physicians conducted the Delivery Makes a Difference (DMaD) project to obtain a better understanding of health care provider and patient perspectives about the role of inhalation delivery devices in COPD. This study also examined the nature of both patient and physician understanding and the educational efforts between health care providers and patients on proper device technique. Past studies have shown that initial inhaled therapy device training and follow-up assessments are necessary to optimize patient care. Poor understanding and misuse of inhalers have been cited as a major reason for ineffective management of COPD. These critical errors are most commonly encountered in elderly patients and in patients receiving care in a primary care setting.
Inhaled medications, often used to treat patients with COPD, target the airways and enable a rapid effect with a relatively low dose of medication which helps lower the potential for systemic side effects. Currently, there are several types of inhalation device types available to patients based on their unique attributes like COPD severity, comorbidities and cognitive function.
Researchers utilized data derived from two original quantitative surveys that were distributed to 513 healthcare providers who managed COPD and 499 patients with COPD across the U.S. These surveys were used to assess data across the demographic variables. Inferential statistics were used to assess differences in attitudinal, descriptive and behavioral measures.
Results revealed that health care providers and patients prioritize medication over device when it comes to treatments of COPD, and show limited concerns about proper device use. "Our results highlight the need to coordinate professional education with patient-directed educational efforts," said Dr. Nicola Hanania, lead researcher. "We need to further promote proper device selection and use in COPD management."
The study was published online first in the Journal of the COPD Foundation.
Funding for this study was provided by Sunovion for implementation of the survey and medical writing but did not influence the design, conduct of the study, or content of the submitted manuscript.