According to a new study, when COPD patients don’t receive adequate training on how to use inhalers, it may lead to a higher rate of misuse and higher healthcare costs.

When patients don’t get enough training on how to use inhaler devices they have less control of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). That leads to more healthcare consumption and cost, Italian researchers found. That risk of misuse is higher when patients switch inhalers.

The study was conducted by Alessandro Roggeri of ProCure Solutions in Bergamo, Italy, and colleagues, and was published in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease on March 21, 2016.

The authors state, “The aim of this analysis was to estimate the potential economic impact related to errors in inhalation in patients switching device without adequate training.” Since asthma and COPD often go hand-in-hand, and previous studies have shown that as many as 80% of asthma patients do not properly use their inhalers, the researchers investigated the issue of incorrect inhaler use among COPD patients.

In order to discover the cost associated with incorrect inhaler use, the researchers used data from a 2008 study (the GENEBI Project) which, they said, “investigated the prevalence of inhaler misuse and health care resource consumption in a large population of adult patients experienced in the use of inhalers which referred to chest clinics throughout Italy.”

There were 1,664 patients in enrolled. The researchers in the GENEBI Project found that patients who made critical inhalation technique errors used more healthcare resources when compared to patients without errors.

View the full story at