Can patients with asthma feel inhaler therapy working right away two clinical trials testing the effect of timing of assessment on patient perception

Nancy Kline Leidy, Benjamin Gutierrez, Kathy Lampl, Tom Uryniak, Christopher D. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background. Feeling a maintenance therapy work right away may provide positive reinforcement and may offer one way to improve adherence in patients with asthma. Precise measurement is required to accurately compare the presence of this effect across clinical trial treatment groups. Methods. Two randomized, controlled studies tested whether timing of assessment (daily vs weekly, study 1; and predose vs postdose, study 2) influenced patients' reports of whether they can feel a medication working right away (perception), and their satisfaction with this perception (satisfaction). These 2-week US-based multicenter double-blind, parallel-group studies included patients ≥18 years of age with mild to moderate persistent asthma. In each, patients were randomized to one of two drugs with different onset profiles: budesonide/formoterol pressurized metered-dose inhaler (pMDI) 80/4.5 μg × 2 inhalations (160/9 μg) twice daily or budesonide pMDI 80 μg × 2 inhalations (160 μg) twice daily. Patients were further randomized to complete previously validated perception and satisfaction questions in a cross-over fashion, either daily and weekly (N = 123) or predose and postdose (N = 134). Patient surveys also assessed perceptions of the onset of effect of medication and their value of these perceptions. Results. No significant differences were observed in patients' reports of perception, either daily versus weekly or predose versus postdose. A statistically significant difference in satisfaction was found in study 1 only, favoring weekly recall (p < 0.05), with sensitivity analysis showing no difference by treatment group (p = 0.162). Across both studies, most patients (87%) who perceived their inhaler working right away (136 of 157 patients) identified positive airway sensations. Most patients reported that feeling their medication work right away is reassuring and would help them manage their asthma. Conclusion. Assessment timing has no effect on patient response to the perception of feeling a medication working right away. Differences found in satisfaction levels reported with weekly versus daily recall were consistent across treatment groups, indicating that no bias was introduced in favor of either treatment group. Patients characterized the perception of feeling a maintenance therapy working right away as easier breathing and reported this perception as beneficial to patient self-care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1006-1012
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2009


  • Asthma
  • Bronchodilation
  • Budesonide/formoterol
  • Onset of effect
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Patient-reported outcome
  • Recall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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