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Inhaler Training Delivered by Internet-Based Home Videoconferencing Improves Technique and Quality of Life.

Thomas RM, Locke ER, Woo DM, Nguyen EHK, Press VG, Layouni TA, Trittschuh EH, Reiber GE, Fan VS. Inhaler Training Delivered by Internet-Based Home Videoconferencing Improves Technique and Quality of Life. Respiratory Care. 2017 Nov 1; 62(11):1412-1422.

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BACKGROUND: COPD is common, and inhaled medications can reduce the risk of exacerbations. Incorrect inhaler use is also common and may lead to worse symptoms and increased exacerbations. We examined whether inhaler training could be delivered using Internet-based home videoconferencing and its effect on inhaler technique, self-efficacy, quality of life, and adherence. METHODS: In this pre-post pilot study, participants with COPD had 3 monthly Internet-based home videoconference visits with a pharmacist who provided inhaler training using teach-to-goal methodology. Participants completed mailed questionnaires to ascertain COPD severity, self-efficacy, health literacy, quality of life, adherence, and satisfaction with the intervention. RESULTS: A total of 41 participants completed at least one, and 38 completed all 3 home videoconference visits. During each visit, technique improved for all inhalers, with significant improvements for the albuterol metered-dose inhaler, budesonide/formoterol metered-dose inhaler, and tiotropium dry powder inhaler. Improved technique was sustained for nearly all inhalers at 1 and 2 months. Quality of life measured with the Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire improved following the training: dyspnea (+0.3 points, = .01), fatigue (+0.6 points, < .001), emotional function (+0.5 points, = .001), and mastery (+0.7 points, < .001). Coping skills measured with the Seattle Obstructive Lung Disease Questionnaire improved (+9.9 points, = .003). Participants reported increased confidence in inhaler use; for example, mean self-efficacy for using albuterol increased 3 points ( < .001). Inhaler adherence improved significantly after the intervention from 1.6 at the initial visit to 1.1 at month 2 ( = .045). The pharmacist reported technical issues in 64% of visits. CONCLUSIONS: Inhaler training using teach-to-goal methodology delivered by home videoconference is a promising means to provide training to patients with COPD that can improve technique, quality of life, self-efficacy, and adherence.

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