New resource for asthma sufferers

Cate Swannell
Med J Aust
Published online: 21 July 2014

A new survey highlighting that up to 90% of Australians with asthma don’t use their inhaler correctly has prompted NPS MedicineWise and Asthma Australia to jointly develop an online tool to help health professionals to assist their patients.

The free “Unlocking asthma inhaler technique” online learning module is designed to emphasise the importance of checking patients’ technique to ensure correct usage, including communication skills required to start the conversation with patients as well as ways to demonstrate correct technique.

Dr Lynn Weekes, CEO of NPS MedicineWise, says the survey, commissioned by NPS and run by Galaxy Research last month, shows that 57% of inhaler users are “very confident” in their technique.

“But this doesn’t match with figures from the Asthma handbook that show up to 90% of Australians with asthma don’t use their inhaler correctly”, she says.

Dr Weekes says the online learning tool is part of a longer-term educational program launched mid 2014 for health professionals and consumers about good management of asthma.

“We’re urging people with asthma, and their carers, to take an active role in their health care, to check the facts on asthma, and talk to their health professional about how to best manage their condition.”

Asthma Australia CEO Mark Brooke says the majority of people with asthma don’t use their asthma inhaler devices correctly.

“Regardless of the type of inhaler device prescribed, people with asthma are unlikely to use their inhalers correctly unless they’ve received clear instruction, including a demonstration, and they have their inhaler technique checked regularly.”

The online tool is available at

  • Cate Swannell



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