Objectives: To evaluate the level of asthma education and the effects of this education on avoidance of irritants and adherence to inhalers.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of adults with asthma in respiratory clinics of a tertiary hospital was conducted between September 2014 and September 2015. A standardized questionnaire was designed to measure the level of education received by asthmatics related to their disease, irritants, medications, and inhaler technique. Comparative analysis was performed using a chi-square test.
Results: 82 subjects were given the questionnaire and all were included. 70% received basic information about asthma, but only 44% were educated about major irritants (i.e. smoking, indoor irritants, outdoor irritants, colds, influenza, and exercise). Adherence to avoidance measures was significantly higher in patients who received education than in those without adequate education. However, education about inhalers, which was provided to the majority (88.8%) of the patients, was not associated with the quality of the respondents’ technique in using these devices. Patients were more likely to demonstrate correct use of a DISKUSβ® inhaler than a metered-dose inhaler or Turbohaler® (85%, 42%, and 52% of patients, respectively, p=0.003).
Conclusion: Almost half of the patients had not received sufficient education. Asthma education, which was provided mostly in the clinic by the treating physician, was associated with avoidance of irritants, but not with high-quality inhaler technique. To achieve the standard requirement for asthma management, a multidisciplinary educational program that ensures adequate understanding and proper use of inhalers is recommended