A specialized training program on inhaler technique delivered by pharmacists to nurses: a study from the United Arab Emirates

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Asthma , Inhaler technique, Training, United Arab Emirates, Nursing


Background: Inhaled drug delivery has been hailed as a major advancement in respiratory therapeutics. However, a major limitation to use the inhaled medications effectively is the inability of patients and nurses to use and demonstrate the proper use of these devices correctly. Being the drug experts, pharmacists are in a pivotal position to delivered tailored education to their peers, the nurses. Aim: This study aims to examine nurses’ knowledge of asthma management, their ability to demonstrate proper inhaler technique, and the impact of a specialized workshop training program delivered by skilled pharmacists on improving their performance. Methods: This is a pre- and post-cross-sectional study design in hospital setting where nurses were recruited from the respiratory and emergency departments within a healthcare facility in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The nurses attended a training workshop prepared and delivered by skilled pharmacists on inhaler technique demonstration skills. Nurses’ inhaler technique demonstration skills for Diskus, Turbuhaler, and pMDI were assessed at baseline, immediately after the workshop, and after four weeks. The nurses completed the demographic and Asthma Knowledge Questionnaire (AKQ). Results: A random convenience sample of registered nurses (n=20) from the respiratory and emergency departments was recruited from a tertiary hospital in Sharjah, UAE, with a mean age of 35.25 (SD=6.96) years, of whom 90% were females. The mean number of years of experience was 12.00 years (SD=5.81). Inhaler technique assessment revealed low inhaler technique scores for all the three study inhalers at baseline (mean score for Diskus=3.85 (SD=2.87); Turbuhaler=3.70 (SD=3.20); pMDI=4.50 (SD=2.65)) Significant improvements in inhaler technique scores were noted after the workshop (Diskus=8.9 (SD=0.31); Turbuhaler=8.9 (SD=0.31); pMDI=8.0 (SD=0.00), P<0.001). A significant difference in AKQ scores was found before (mean=4.85 (SD=1.27)) and after (mean=7.50 (SD=0.95)) the workshop training session (P<0.001), and four weeks after the workshop training session (mean=7.55 (SD=0.76), P<0.001). Conclusion: The UAE nurses’ inhaler technique and AKQ scores were suboptimal at baseline. The specialized training program prepared and delivered by the skilled pharmacists improved nurses’ inhaler technique demonstration skills and AKQ scores. Such improvements would reflect positively on patients’ asthma management outcomes as nurses are the health care professionals who interact the most with the patients during hospitalization.

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