Inhalation adherence for asthma and COPD improved during the COVID-19 pandemic: a questionnaire survey at a university hospital in Japan

Eriko Fukutani, Keiko Wakahara, Saya Nakamura, Eito Yokoi, Akira Yoshimi, Masayuki Miyazaki, Mariko Nakamura, Yuichiro Shindo, Koji Sakamoto, Shotaro Okachi, Ichidai Tanaka, Nobuyuki Hamajima, Yukihiro Noda, Naozumi Hashimoto, Makoto Ishii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Good adherence to an inhaled medication protocol is necessary for the management of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and several interventions to improve adherence have been reported. However, the impact of patient life changes and psychological aspects on treatment motivation is obscure. Here, we investigated changes in inhaler adherence during the COVID-19 pandemic and how lifestyle and psychological changes affected it. Methods: Seven-hundred sixteen adult patients with asthma and COPD who had visited Nagoya University Hospital between 2015 and 2020 were selected. Among them, 311 patients had received instruction at a pharmacist-managed clinic (PMC). We distributed one-time cross-sectional questionnaires from January 12 to March 31, 2021. The questionnaire covered the status of hospital visits, inhalation adherence before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, lifestyles, medical conditions, and psychological stress. The Adherence Starts with Knowledge-12 (ASK-12) was used to assess adherence barriers. Results: Four-hundred thirty-three patients answered the questionnaire. Inhalation adherence was significantly improved in both diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic. The most common reason for improved adherence was fear of infection. Patients with improved adherence were more likely to believe that controller inhalers could prevent COVID-19 from becoming more severe. Improved adherence was more common in patients with asthma, those not receiving counseling at PMC, and those with poor baseline adherence. Conclusions: Inhalation adherence for asthma and COPD improved in the COVID-19 pandemic. The patients seemed to realize the necessity and benefits of the medication more strongly than before the pandemic, which motivated them to improve adherence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2002-2013
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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