Can electronic monitoring with a digital smart spacer support personalised medication adherence and inhaler technique education in patients with asthma? Protocol of the randomised controlled OUTERSPACE trial

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INTRODUCTION: Medication adherence and inhaler technique in patients with asthma remain suboptimal. A digital, smart spacer may support personalised adherence and inhaler technique education. The aim of this study is to assess the feasibility of undertaking a definitive randomised controlled trial of personalised, smart spacer data-driven education and explore clinical benefits.

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We present the design of the multicentre, randomised controlled OUtcomes following Tailored Education and Retraining: Studying Performance and AdherenCE feasibility trial of 2 months. Patients will be recruited from four Dutch general practices. At t=-1, patients with asthma ≥18 years using inhaled corticosteroids±long-acting beta-agonists±short-acting beta-agonists administered with a pressurised-metered-dose-inhaler and spacer (n=40) will use a smart spacer for 1 month. The rechargeable CE-marked smart spacer (Aerochamber Plus with Flow Vu) includes a sensor that monitors adherence and inhalation technique to prescribed dosing regimen of both maintenance and reliever inhalers. After 1 month (t=0), patients are 1:1 randomised into two groups: control group (usual care) versus intervention group (personalised education). At t=-1, t=0 and t=1 month, the Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ), Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire and Test of Adherence to Inhalers (TAI) are administered and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) is assessed. At t=0 and t=1, spirometry is performed. At t=1, usability and satisfaction will be analysed using the System Usability Scale and interviews with patients and healthcare providers. Primary outcome is the overall feasibility of a definitive trial assessed by patient recruitment speed, participation and drop-out rate. Secondary outcomes are patient and healthcare provider satisfaction and exploratory clinical outcomes are adherence, inhaler technique, TAI score, FeNO, lung function, ACQ and WPAI.

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval was obtained from the RTPO in Leeuwarden, Netherlands (number: NL78361.099.21). Patients will provide written informed consent. Study findings will be disseminated through conferences and peer-reviewed scientific and professional journals.


Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's14
TijdschriftBMJ Open
Nummer van het tijdschrift6
StatusPublished - 13-jun.-2022

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