2006 Volume 32 Issue 10 Pages 1038-1043
As many asthma patients suffer from asthma for long periods of time, we considered what pharmacists can do to help them lead a life free of asthma attacks in which they have a high QOL and autonomy.
With this in mind, we established Japan's first “Asthma Pharmaceutical Care Clinic for Outpatients”. Our subjects for counseling at the clinic were new patients with bronchial asthma who were scheduled to begin treatment using a metered dose inhaler or dry powdered inhaler and patients who were undergoing treatment but in whom there had been no improvement in symptoms. At the clinic, the pharmacist identifies problems in the inhalation treatment by questioning the patient and based on the responses, provides instruction on the proper use inhalers so that such problems are avoided.
More than 70% of the 116 patients who visited our pharmaceutical care clinic between July 2001 and March 2004 did not understand what asthma is, or why it is treated with an inhaler. In addition, they were not using inhalers correctly. Initial counseling significantly increased their level of understanding and it was further increased through repeated counseling. Our counseling maintained PEF scores at high levels for over two years.
The counseling pharmacists provided at the bronchial asthma pharmaceutical care clinic for outpatients not only ensured that patients were following the proper inhalation technique, it also gave them useful information on the pathophysiology of asthma and the pharmacology and toxicity of the medicines they use. We are convinced of its effectiveness and necessity.