Article Abstract

Patient preference for a maintenance inhaler in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a comparison of Breezhaler and Respimat

Authors: Philip O’Hagan, Juergen Dederichs, Boomi Viswanad, Matthias Gasser, Susann Walda


Background: Good compliance in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is of ‘paramount importance’ in reducing the occurrence of acute exacerbations, hospitalisation and mortality and in improving quality of life. However, a number of studies have confirmed that long-term compliance is low and often associated with difficulties in handling maintenance inhalers. Therefore, the easier an inhaler is to use, the more likely the patient will comply with handling instructions and so, optimise control of the condition. A research study was undertaken comparing the maintenance inhalers BreezhalerTM (BH—available in combination with Ultibro, Seebri and Onbrez from Novartis) and RespimatTM (RM—available in combination with Spiriva, Spiolto and Striverdi from Boehringer Ingelheim).
Methods: The research was conducted among 240 maintenance inhaler-naive participants who before handling the inhalers were asked to indicate how important they felt it was that an inhaler offered each of a list of 22 handling-related attributes. They then handled each inhaler on three separate occasions familiarising themselves with the correct handling procedure by consulting respective ‘Instructions for use’ and short training videos. Following the handling process, participants rated the individual inhaler against each of the 22 attributes and finally expressed their preference between the two on a number of key handling-related attributes and indicated which they preferred overall.
Results: A significant majority of participants preferred BH to RM overall. BH was rated statistically superior on 20 of the 22 handling-related attributes particularly those participants rated most highly including dosing confidence, ‘easy to use’ and ‘easy to learn’.
Conclusions: Significantly more participants were confident that BH would deliver a full dose of medication and was easier to learn and use. These attributes are crucial for achieving improved patient compliance. As a result, BH offers an opportunity for improved symptom control in the maintenance treatment of COPD.