To Study the Attitudes, Beliefs and Perceptions Regarding the Use of Inhalers among Patients of Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases and in the General Population in Punjab 434-439
Vitull K. Gupta
Health & Human Rights Activist,
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, AIMSR
Res. 5042, Afim Wali Gali, Bathinda, Punjab 151001.
Ph. (Hosp.) 91-164-2215400. (Res.) 91-164-2253903.
Mobile. 9417020903. e Mail. firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction: Inhaler devices are an important part of the armamentarium of clinicians who treat ing obstructive pulmonary diseases. The effectiveness of inhaled drugs depends on the patient’s’ ability to use the inhaler device correctly and the adherence to the treatment regimens is likely to be influenced by their opinions and feelings about the use of the inhaler as a mode of therapy. The patients’ beliefs about their illnesses and therapy play a key role in determining their adherence to the treatment.
Aims and Objectives: However, there is paucity of studies investigating attitudes, beliefs and perceptions about the use of inhalers in patents of obstructive pulmonary disease and in the general population in India so we sought to study the attitudes, beliefs and perceptions regarding the use of inhalers by obstructive pulmonary disease patients and by the general population.
Material and Methods: Patients of COPD and asthma and the general population visiting the hospital were screened for recruitment into this study. A questionnaire which could identify the patients’ potential attitudes, beliefs and perceptions about inhalers was designed and the answers were sought during interviews with the first contact OPD patients and the generalpublic visiting the hospital as relatives accompanying the patients, other than the patients of respiratory diseases. All the ‘yes’ answers were analyzed on a percentage scale.
Results: We studied 1276 patients and 1832 people from the general population. Only 15.1% patients and 17.2% subjects from the general population considered inhalers as the preferred mode of therapy . A majority of the patient population and subjects from the general population thought that the use of inhalers was a social stigma and preferred oral medication;, they expressed their inhibitions for inhaler use in public, wanted to keep the inhaler use as a secret, expressed preference for a smaller inhaler device and a single dose inhaler and thought that inhalers are were used in for serious diseases, which once started on, inhalers had to be taken life long.
Conclusion: We conclude that the results of our study highlighted the misplaced beliefs, attitudes and perceptions about inhalers among a majority of the patients and the common population, thus necessitating the urgent need for an individual and a collective national effort in the form of national educative programmes to dispel the misconceptions and inadequate knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and perceptions of the patients and the common people towards inhalers.