Dry-powder inhalers in patients with persistent airflow limitation: usability and preference
International guidelines for asthma management state that inhalation is the preferred route of drug delivery. Consequently, it is important to select an appropriate delivery device and to take account of a patient's preference and lifestyle, as incorrect inhaler use may lead to treatment failure. A large number of devices are available from which to select, but it may be difficult for healthcare professionals to provide guidance to the patient unless they are familiar with the characteristics and correct use of each device. Many factors affect the success of a device in a patient's hands: the device's features; the patient's psychosocial status, cultural beliefs, and language skills; and consistent instruction on inhalation technique. Constant education is essential to establish and maintain the patient's confidence in the treatment regimen. It is important that at least one member of the respiratory healthcare team should remain abreast of medical and pharmaceutical developments in the respiratory field. In this way, the choice of delivery device can be reviewed and changed to suit the changing needs of the patient.