Korean J Adult Nurs.  2015 Dec;27(6):665-672. 10.7475/kjan.2015.27.6.665.

Inhaler Competency and Medication Adherence in Older Adults and Adults with Obstructive Lung Disease

  • 1Division of Nursing, Hanyang University Medical Center Seoul Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2College of Nursing, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea. ysshin2k@hanyang.ac.kr


The aims of current study were to assess the inhaler competency and medication adherence, and to identify association of inhaler competency with medication adherence in patients with obstructive lung disease.
We did a secondary analysis of the Hanyang Obstructive Pulmonary Evaluation data in a single institution from June 2014 to April 2015 after an approval of Institutional Review Board. A total of 150 patients with asthma or chronic obstructive lung disease participated in the study. Inhaler competency was evaluated accuracy in each step for using metered dose inhaler. Medication adherence was calculated using actually dispensed doses based on the prescribed inhaler doses.
Older adults (> or =65) had lower competency in using inhaler (66.7 vs 83.3, z=-4.52, p<.001) and poorer medication adherence (67.7 vs 91.8, chi2=14.06, p<.001) than adults (<65). Inhaler competency was associated with medication adherence (p=.26, p=.001). Surprisingly, more than 50% of patients were current smokers.
Inhaler competency and medication adherence were lower in older adults with obstructive lung disease than those in adult-age patients. Therefore, an individual education program for older patients should be developed to improve the rates of proper use of inhalers. Nursing management for obstructive lung disease should focus on developing behavioral intervention strategies for smoking cessation.

MeSH Terms

Ethics Committees, Research
Lung Diseases, Obstructive*
Medication Adherence*
Metered Dose Inhalers
Nebulizers and Vaporizers*
Prescription Drug Misuse
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive
Smoking Cessation


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