mean age: 3.2 years old average duration of asthma: 2.2 years
Home setting in Austrila
The children’s parents provided informed consent and also participated in the study through completing questionnaires and taking part in a phone interview. They also helped (where necessary) in the use of the inhalers.
Participants were approached by the researcher at home initially before the Funhaler was mentioned and were interviewed with a questionnaire on their existing use of the inhaler.
They were given the Funhaler for two weeks and reported over the phone on whether they had used the Funhaler the previous day. Matched questionnaires were completed (by parents) after sequential use of the Breath-a-Tech inhaler and Funhaler. After sequential use of the Breath-a-Tech inhaler and Funhaler they were then visited again by the researcher and parents were interviewed and completed the matched questionnaires.
81% of children using the Funhaler were found to have been medicated the previous day compared to 59% of children using the existing inhaler. 30% more children took the recommended 4 or more cycles per aerosol delivery when using the Funhaler compared with the standard inhaler. When using the standard inhaler only 3/30 parents reported being always successful in medicating their children compared to 22/30 when using the Funhaler. Of the parents who were unsuccessful with the conventional spacer, 17 became successful with time and practice in medicating their children, leaving 11 who never succeeded. When these 11 were changed to the Funhaler, 7 were immediately successful, 1 became successful with time and only 3 continued to have problems.
Improved adherence, combined with satisfactory delivery characteristics, suggest that the Funhaler may be useful for management of young asthmatics. The Funaler could possibly be translated to improved measures of clinical outcome. The functional incentive devices such as the Funhaler may improve the health of children.