Inhaler Review in Older Adults with Asthma or COPD: A Cost-Effectiveness Study and a Perspective in Portugal

Tiago Maricoto, João Marques-Gomes, Jaime Correia-de-Sousa, Luís Taborda-Barata

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: Older patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are particularly susceptible to exacerbations that may be associated with incorrect use of inhalers. Educational programs with inhaler technique review seem to be effective, but no studies have addressed their cost-effectiveness in older adult patients. The objective was to perform a cost-effectiveness analysis of education programs in older patients and estimate the cost benefit of applying such a program in Portugal. DESIGN: We developed a decision tree analysis from a healthcare perspective, according to intervention costs and the exacerbation rates and costs described in a previous meta-analysis. A sensitivity analysis of worst and best case scenarios was performed to estimate thresholds for intervention affordable limits, as well as cost-saving estimations and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs) for a Portuguese scenario. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: We estimated cost-effectiveness thresholds applicable in all settings and performed a sensitivity analysis of a theoretical intervention model in all patients including an inhaler technique review at an annual appointment with a doctor and a nurse. RESULTS: In the best case scenario, the intervention affordable budget could be up to almost 1800€ (US $1585.24) per patient per year. Mean intervention-associated savings in Portugal would be 311.88€ (US $274.68) per patient per year, representing annual savings up to €131 million (US $150 million) for the whole health system, already including intervention costs. ICERs for Portugal vary between 93.73€ (US $82.55) and 437.43€ (US $385.25) per exacerbation avoided. CONCLUSION: A model of an intervention program with an inhaler technique review in older adult patients suggests that this intervention is cost-effective and can generate significant savings. J Am Geriatr Soc 1–7, 2019.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1430-1436
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • asthma
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • cost-effectiveness
  • inhaler
  • older adults


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