Effects of Medication Adherence on COPD and Asthma Patients

Respiratory Research’s December 2018 edition contains a study investigating how medication adherence will impact quality of life “and symptom control in a typical population of patients with chronic lung disease.” Researchers used a cohort of 165 asthma and COPD patients who were taught correct application of inhaler devises using “pre-defined checklists of each inhaler type.” Symptom control as then investigated using COPD Assessment Tests and Asthma Control Tests along with spirometry and forced expiratory volume. Researchers found “there was no significance found in asthma patients,” but “COPD patients with incorrect device application were more likely to suffer from cough… and were more breathless while walking uphill or a flight of stairs,” among other findings.

With regards to the findings for asthma patients, the full article notes some important limitations. Regarding the lack of significant change in ACT scores, for example, the researchers note “[t]his can be explained by the fact that all patients had to be in a stable condition and free of exacerbation for at least one month at the time of their inclusion into the study. Generally, asthma patients show none to very few symptoms during a stable phase of their disease. Moreover, all participants suffering from asthma had an ACT mean sum score of around 20, signifying well-controlled disease condition at that point of time. However, one could assume that an observation of patients in an acute deterioration phase would indicate a difference when comparing the ACT sum score with the correct/ incorrect device application. Patients applying their inhalation device correctly would be expected to benefit more from the inhaled medication and would therefore show better symptom control compared to patients who use their device incorrectly.”

To view the article’s abstract, click here. The full article is here.