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Proper Metered-Dose Inhaler-Spacer Technique Lacking
Findings among caregivers of urban, minority children with persistent asthma

FRIDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Proper metered-dose inhaler (MDI)-spacer technique is lacking among the caregivers of urban, minority children with persistent asthma, according to a study published online Oct. 22 in the Journal of Asthma.

Marina Reznik, M.D., from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Montefiore, N.Y., and colleagues analyzed data from 169 caregivers of urban minority children with persistent asthma (aged 2 to 9 years). A 10-step checklist derived from the national guidelines, literature, and manufacturers' instructions was used to assess MDI-spacer device technique. Caregivers were categorized as correct users (seven or more steps demonstrated accurately) or incorrect users (six or fewer steps demonstrated accurately).

The researchers found that the majority of the caregivers (95 percent) were mothers (mean age, 32.3 years; 56 percent were unemployed); 74 percent of the children were Hispanic. The majority of children (87 percent) had either "not well controlled" or "very poorly controlled" asthma; 92 percent had a spacer at home, with 71 percent using it "all" or "most" of the time. All 10 steps of the MDI-spacer technique were demonstrated correctly by only one caregiver. Correct MDI-spacer technique was independently predicted by a child having one or more asthma-related hospitalizations in the past 12 months and higher caregiver educational level.

"The caregivers of urban, minority children with persistent asthma lack proper MDI-spacer technique, suggesting the potential value of both targeted short- and long-term educational interventions," the authors conclude.

The study was funded in part by Monaghan Medical, a manufacturer of aerosol drug delivery devices.

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