Review Article

The ADMIT series - Issues in Inhalation Therapy. 6) Training tools for inhalation devices

  • Primary Care Respiratory Journal (2010) 19, 335341
  • doi:10.4104/pcrj.2010.00065
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Inhaled medications are the preferred therapies for patients with asthma and COPD, but their effectiveness is limited by the patient's ability to use the device properly, an issue often neglected when these medications are prescribed. Correct inhaler technique must be taught and learnt, and requires educational and motivational programs aimed at patients and healthcare providers alike. Written instructions alone are manifestly insufficient: education must include practical demonstration and periodic re-assessment and re-education, since correct technique and motivation usually deteriorate with time. Several devices are available on the market, the purpose of which is to train patients to use inhalers correctly. They are often directed at particular devices or groups of devices and/or particular critical aspects of technique. This paper reviews the devices currently available for training patients in the correct use of both pressurised metered-dose inhalers (pMDIs) and dry powder inhalers (DPIs).

Author information


  1. Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Immunoallergology, Respiratory Diseases and Cell Therapy, University of Florence, Italy

    • Federico Lavorini
  2. Senior Clinical Research Fellow, Allergy & Respiratory Research Group, Division of Community Health Sciences:GP Section, University of Edinburgh, UK

    • Mark L Levy
  3. Department of Asthma, Allergy & Respiratory Science, King's College London School of Medicine, London, UK

    • Chris Corrigan
  4. 14 Midmar Drive, Edinburgh, EH10 6BU, UK

    • Graham Crompton


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Competing interests

F Lavorini has been reimbursed for attending conferences and/or giving talks by Menarini Industrie Farmaceutiche, AstraZeneca and Pfizer. He serves as a consultant to Meda AB.

ML Levy has been reimbursed for attending conferences and/or giving talks by, and has acted as a consultant for, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Ivax, 3M, Novartis, MSD, Altana, Meda AB, Trinity Chiesi, Boehringer Ingelheim, Ranbaxy, Innovata Biomedica and Schering Plough. He has received research grants from Ivax, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Schering Plough and AstraZeneca. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the PCRJ, but was not involved in the editorial review of, nor the decision to publish, this article.

C Corrigan has been reimbursed for attending conferences and/or giving talks by Schering- Plough, Allergy Therapeutics, Med AB, UCB Pharma. His department has received research grants from GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, ALK-Abello, Allergy Therapeutics. He has acted as a consultant for Meda AB, GlaxoSmithKline, MSD, Allergopharma, Joachim Ganzer AB G Crompton has given talks and acted as a consultant forMEDA AB.

Conflicts of interest for all ADMIT members are listed at the end of the first paper in this series — see Dekhuijzen et al., Prim Care Resp J 2007;16(6):341–8.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Federico Lavorini.