PURPOSE: Asthma is known to occur in the elderly. Geriatric asthmatics deserve special attention because of physical, social & economical factors having a bearing on management especially inhalational techniques and compliance. So study was undertaken to compare technique of inhalation and compliance in elderly and young asthmatics.
METHODS: 100 patients were studied. Group-A-50 patients ≥65 yrs, Group-B-50 patients < 40 yrs.Initially, inhalational techniques were observed and baseline compliance along with reasons for non compliance studied. Then patients were taught inhalational techniques and educated about the basics of asthma including reliever and controller medications and followed up at 15th day, 1st, 2nd and 3rd month for changes in these variables.
RESULTS: Initially, 46% of elderly and 66% of young asthmatics were on inhalational therapy. Non compliance was observed in 60% elderly and 30% young. Cause for non compliance was cost in 6, memory in 11, both cost and memory in 7 and relief of symptoms in 6 in elderly and 4, 0, 0 and 11 in young respectively. At follow up, correct technique of inhalation rose from 30.6% to 86% amongst elderly and from 57.6% to 98% amongst young. The compliance rose from 40% to 88% amongst elderly and from 70% to 96% amongst young. Mean PEFR improved statistically significantly in both the groups.
CONCLUSION: Doctors need to teach basics of asthma including reliever and controller medications and reinforce technique at every visit for better asthma management.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Geriatrics is a special group in which inhalational techniques and need for compliance should be reinforced at every visit because of physico psycho social and economic reasons.
DISCLOSURE: Kranti Garg, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information