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Abstract

Background
Patients rely on the information about use of proper inhaler technique when dispensed by community pharmacists however; several studies have shown that patients are unable to show correct inhalation technique. The aim of this study is to assess the ability of community pharmacists in Al Qassim region to demonstrate proper inhalation technique of metered dose inhaler and compare the baseline outcomes with a similar study at Al-Ahsa region.
Method
We approach 96 pharmacies in Al Qassim region as mock patient (Investigator). The investigator asks the Pharmacist to guide him about proper inhalation technique of metered dose inhaler. Investigator completes a standardized and validated checklist of 8 steps of inhaler device use immediately after leaving the pharmacy. Baseline data were compared between the two study groups et al. Ahsa and Al-Qassim for variables for effectiveness of pharmacist handling of patient queries.
Result
A total number of 96 community pharmacies were approached in five cities of the Al Qassim province in Saudi Arabia This study has found that majority (93.7%) of community pharmacists failed to demonstrate proper inhalation technique of pMDI inhaler.
Conclusion
The pharmacists demonstrated particularly poor skills involving steps for coordination of the actuation process with the mechanics of inhalation with MDI. The errors detected in this simple assessment session, if translated to patient self-medication errors, are potentially significant.
Keywords
pMDI; Community pharmacists; Inhalation technique; Saudi Arabia; Medication error; Asthma; COPD