Shajahan Purathel Sulaiman1, Venugopal Panicker2
Asthma is an important health problem worldwide. High prevalence and poor control of asthma make its management a major public health problem with more than 5,00,000 hospital admissions and 2,50,000 deaths annually all over the world. India contribute maximum to the death toll accounting for 22.3% of all global asthma deaths. Medications in the inhaled forms are the best therapeutic options currently available for asthma. Despite this, the percentage of patients opting inhalers as the preferred modality of treatment seems to be low. The patient’s ability to use the device correctly and the adherence to the treatment regimen are likely to be influenced by their beliefs, attitudes and concerns about the use of inhalers as the preferred mode of treatment.
The aim of the study is to-
1. To find out the proportion of asthmatics using inhalers as the preferred modality of treatment.
2. To bring out the various beliefs and misconceptions on inhalers among the above study group.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Study subjects were asthmatics in the age group of 15 to 45 years who attended the medical camps conducted in Alappuzha and Kottayam districts of Kerala during the period 2006-2009 (n=912). A semi-structured interview schedule regarding the use of inhalers were administered to collect the data.
52% of the study subjects accept inhaled preparations as the preferred modality of treatment (male-68%, female-35%). 48% are reluctant to take inhalers in the first step (male- 32%, female- 65%). 47% believe the term inhaler is the name of a particular drug rather than a device (male- 45%, female- 48%). 76% of inhaler users do not know how to use it properly. 7% think the powder in the dry powder inhalers can block the airways.
Knowledge about asthma and the importance of its proper management are poor in our population. A joint effort in the form of health awareness programmes are needed to alleviate fears and misconceptions of patients and common people towards inhalers.
Asthma, Inhaled Medications, GINA, Misconceptions, Asthma Control.