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Inhaler devices

Module summary

This key questions module will review the role of inhaler devices in the treatment of respiratory diseases.

Learning objectives

After completing the module, you should:

  • be able to describe the types of inhalers currently available, their underlying principles, design and functionality, and highlight the similarities and differences between them
  • have insight into the factors contributing to the effectiveness of inhaler therapy and ways to optimise treatment outcomes
  • be able to describe what defines a ‘critical error’ and ‘non-critical error’ in inhaler technique
  • be equipped with the knowledge and resources to explain and demonstrate the importance of a correct inhaler technique to your patients
  • understand the patient requirements for an ideal inhaler device and support a personalised approach to inhaler therapy.


Author details

The content for this module was developed by Linda Pearce, a Respiratory Nurse Consultant from West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

List of abbreviations
BA-MDI Breath-actuated metered-dose inhaler DPI Dry-powder inhaler
CFCs Chlorofluorocarbons MDI Metered-dose inhaler
COPD Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease pMDI Pressurised metered-dose inhaler


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The Primary Care Respiratory Academy has been developed and is produced by Cogora, the publisher of Pulse, Nursing in Practice and Healthcare Leader working in partnership with PCRS-UK. All educational content for the website and roadshows has been initiated and produced by PCRS-UK/Cogora.

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