PURPOSE:This questionnaire based study was done at an interval of 10 years to compare the extent of use of inhalation therapy by physicians and to compare the acceptance of this treatment by the patients in a developing country.
METHODS:150 patients of bronchial asthma presenting to the OPD of a tertiary care hospital were interviewed to know about the acceptance of inhalation therapy by them. Their prescriptions were analysed to know the use of inhalation therapy by the treating physicians.
RESULTS:It was found that more number of physicians were prescribing inhalers for bronchial asthma now (54%) as compared to 10 years back (10%). The prescription of steroid inhalers and a combination of LABA with steroids had also considerably increased over past 10 years (6% Vs 52%). More number of patients were using inhalers in correct doses and technique (4% Vs 50%). Unfortunately spirometry or peak flow is still not being used for diagnosis or follow up. Asthma education programme is almost non existent. It was found that increased number of patients were aware about the inhalation therapy for asthma (65% Vs 17%) either through their treating physicians, media or through relatives and friends suffering from this disease. More number of patients were willing to buy inhalers (80% Vs 25%).
CONCLUSION:It is concluded that there is an encouraging trend of use of inhalation therapy in asthma by the physicians in resource restricted country like India over past 10 years. Still a lot needs to be done to increase the use of spirometry and to put asthma education programme into practice to improve the quality of life of asthmatic patients.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:This study would encourage more physicians to use inhalation therapy in asthma. It shows that inhalation threrapy is increasingly being accepted by the patients and misconceptions about inhalation therapy are gradually being cleared. But at the same time it shows that the use of spirometry and asthma education programmes need to be stressed upon the physician.
DISCLOSURE:Vishal Chopra, None.