A new asthma spacer device to improve compliance in children: a pilot study

Gervase Chaney, B. Clements, L. Landau, Mahesh Bulsara, Paul Watt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This pilot study was designed to compare the acceptance, ease of use, and effects on compliance between currently used spacer devices and the Funhaler-a new small volume spacer device designed to improve adherence to asthma medication in children.Methodology: A matched questionnaire-based survey was conducted by two interviews of each caregiver by the same person. A total of 32 children were randomly recruited from seven clinics spanning widely differing socioeconomic and geographical areas of Perth, Western Australia. Preschool children taking regular inhaled asthma medication using an existing low volume spacer device and aged between 1.5 and 6 years, took part in the pilot study. Parents completed two matched questionnaires. The first questionnaire was completed at the beginning of the study and the second after 2 weeks' use of the Funhaler spacer. Data collected related primarily to ease of use of the devices, child and parental compliance, and treatment attitudes. During the study, parents were also called at random on one occasion to ascertain whether they had attempted to medicate their child the previous day.Results: Using the Funhaler incentive spacer device, parents reported significantly more success at medicating their children (22/30 always successful) in comparison to using their existing spacer device (3/30). Parental adherence to prescribed frequency and the delivery technique of children were also improved. The children also showed improved satisfaction and willingness to use the device and parents' attitude towards medicating their children was improved with the Funhaler spacer device.Conclusions: Use of a novel, incentive spacer device (Funhaler) appeared to be associated with increased success and fewer problems in medicating children, improved child and parental adherence, and a more positive attitude towards treatment, suggesting that more extensive long-term efficacy trials with the device are warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-506
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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