Adherence, asthma, COPD, dry powder inhaler, inhaler, inhaler technique, pressurized metered-dose inhaler, slow-mist inhaler



  1. Hoy, Haley PhD, ACNP (Associate Professor)


Background and purpose: Effective management of chronic respiratory disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma necessitates that patients inhale their medication. However, lack of detailed guidelines on the technological and mechanical functions of inhalers limits the ability of health care providers (HCPs) to personalize inhaler choice for patients. Numerous types of inhalers are currently available which offer their own distinct advantages and disadvantages. Independent of the drug class, the choice of inhaler may be influenced by many factors (e.g., inhaler attributes and the efficiency with which it delivers the medication, patient characteristics and preferences, dosing regimen, clinical setting, and support available for both patients and HCPs). This article attempts to summarize the inhalation technology and factors influencing inhaler choice and use and to provide an approach for matching the right inhaler to the right patient.


Conclusions: Identifying factors related to inhaler choice is critical to ensuring adherence to treatment and patients' ability to use their inhaler correctly.


Implications for practice: This review will help HCPs engage their patients in decision-making for inhaler choice and facilitate selection of the correct inhaler for each patient (i.e., one that they will use).