Collaborations in Asthma Management in the Community (CAMCOM)

Over 90% of people with asthma do not use their inhalers effectively. With asthma affecting 2.2 million people in Australia, the improper use of inhalers has an enormous impact on each of these individuals. Poor asthma control, increased hospital visits and increased treatment costs are just some of the problems caused, with an estimated 152,000 people with asthma visiting hospital emergency departments each year.

While appearing simple, the correct use of inhalers actually involves a series of steps, all of which need to be performed accurately to ensure the right amount of medicine is delivered with minimal side effects. Few asthma sufferers receive training on how to use their inhalers, as many health professionals cannot demonstrate the correct use of these devices, or assume that other health professionals have already provided the training.

inhaler devices

Inhalers come in different forms
and require training for use.


This project aimed to develop and evaluate the impact of three models of health professional training. The training instructed health professionals on how to assess and train their patients in the effective use of the various inhaler devices used in asthma. The impact of each model was evaluated for its effect on asthma control, asthma quality of life , inhaler techniques of people with asthma and healthcare professional relationships.

Design and methods

Preliminary qualitative interviews were conducted to better understand working relationships between doctors, nurses and pharmacists.

Four general practice networks in the Sydney metropolitan region were randomised to receive one of three models of training:

  • a face-to-face workshop
  • an interactive online learning module
  • a face-to-face workshop promoting interprofessional relationships between general practice staff and pharmacists 

or no intervention.

HCP were recruited through each of the general practice networks.

The impact of the training methods on changes in patient inhaler technique, asthma control, and quality of life were assessed using the following measures:

  • Inhaler technique score (as assessed by the health professional)
  • Asthma control questionnaire (ACQ) (completed by the patient)
  • Perceived control (PC) (completed by the patient)
  • Asthma quality of life (AQOL) (completed by the patient)


This project is being conducted in collaboration with Dr Sinthia Bosnic-Anticevich and Professor Carol Amour from the University of Sydney and is funded by an ARC Linkage Grant.

Current status / summary of results

Data collection is complete and analysis and reporting is underway.

Informing practice

This project aims to provide resources and support appropriate use of devices by people with asthma. These resources will be made available in the future.


Conference presentations and posters (2010–12). 

  1. Armour C, Cvetkovski B, Stuart M, Williamson M, Mackson J, Mavritsakis S, Bosinc-Anticevich S. Interprofessional relationships: how important is access? International Social Pharmacy Network Conference, Lisbon 2010
  2. Bosinc-Anticevich S, Cvetkovski B, Stuart M, Williamson M, Mackson J, Mavritsakis S, Armour C Teamwork: Pharmacists in the tertiary care setting Australasian Pharmaceutical Science Association Conference 9–11 December 2009.