Medical professionals should check that patients with respiratory diseases and rheumatoid arthritis can use their inhalers properly to reduce the risk of them being unable to take their medicines say the scientists from the University of Bath's Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology.
Respiratory diseases, including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are common in people with rheumatoid arthritis. It is estimated that more than 60,000 people in the UK have both rheumatoid arthritis and a lung disease.
Arthritis - Hands - Actions
Arthritis often affects the hands making complex or finely controlled actions difficult and painful.
The team recruited 34 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and compared how well they could use four types of commonly prescribed inhalers to a healthy control group.
% - Arthritis - Patients - Steps - Type
They discovered that only 15% of the arthritis patients could complete all the steps to use one type of inhaler, called a HandiHaler, whereas 94% of the control group were able to. The HandiHaler requires seven steps to operate it properly, including removing a capsule of powered medicine from a foil blister pack, inserting it into the inhaler and piercing it for inhalation.
In contrast 85% of the arthritis patients and 100% of the control group could correctly use an inhaler called a Turbohaler, which has three steps; unscrewing a cap, twisting a dial and replacing the cap.
Inhalers - Arthritis - Group - Operating - Steps
Two other commonly prescribed inhalers saw the arthritis group struggle to complete the operating steps compared to the control group (50% to 91%, and 77% to 97%).
The study is published in the journal Respiratory Medicine.
Dr - Matthew - Jones - Department - Pharmacy
Dr Matthew Jones, from the department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology, said: "These results show how important it...
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