Key findings from the study included that, 36 per cent of individuals still do not accept inhalers as an effective way to manage asthma, with 40 per cent of parents still believing that inhalers aren’t suitable for children
A report by Cipla has revealed insights on the perception of asthma as well as its recommended treatment i.e., inhalers amongst those suffering from the disease. Conducted across six non-metro cities in India, the aim of the study was to measure the level of awareness about asthma as well as an understanding of the barriers to the acceptance of inhalation therapy.
Key findings from the study included that, 36 per cent of individuals still do not accept inhalers as an effective way to manage asthma, with 40 per cent of parents still believing that inhalers aren’t suitable for children. Thus, highlighting that while some positive movement has been made, a lot more work needs to be done to improve disease and treatment awareness.
The study was conducted with a sample size of over 2400 asthmatics and caregivers covering current inhaler users, lapsers and rejectors. While 53 per cent of the total respondents believe that inhalers have a low dose, 37 per cent still don’t believe that inhalers are safe for managing asthma.
40 per cent of respondents who are caregivers of children with breathing problems believe that inhalers aren’t – safe for managing asthma, suitable for children or even the right treatment for asthma.
Among lapsers i.e. those who used an inhaler for a short period of time but abruptly stopped - 35 per cent of the respondents attributed social stigma as the reason they stopped using an inhaler. While 36 per cent of respondents who have never tried to use an inhaler i.e. rejectors, believed that inhalers were to be used only in case of severe Asthma or during an attack.
Dr Arjun Khanna, Pulmonologist, in Delhi said, "India accounts for approximately 12 per cent of global asthma cases yet an alarming 42 pet cent of asthma-related deaths. This disparity can be attributed to two major barriers: lack of awareness and stigma. Due to a lack of understanding of the disease, patients often fail to recognize symptoms and delay seeking medical treatment."
Additionally, he says negative perceptions and stigmas surrounding inhalers, from potential side effects to social embarrassment, further impede proper treatment. "To combat this, there needs to be a significant shift in how India views asthma and inhalers through widespread awareness campaigns across the country," he adds.