The Global Usability Score Short-Form for the simplified assessment of dry powder inhalers (DPIs) usability

  • Massimiliano Povero | AdRes Health Economics and Outcome Resources, Turin, Italy.
  • Paola Turco Research and Clinical Governance, Verona, Italy.
  • Luca Bonadiman National Centre for Respiratory Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmacoepidemiology, Verona, Italy.
  • Roberto W. Dal Negro National Centre for Respiratory Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmacoepidemiology, Verona, Italy.


Background: The choice of the Dry Powder Inhaler (DPI) to prescribe is a critical issue. The estimation of DPIs usability depends on the objective assessment of several indices related to both subjective and objective determinants. The Global Usability Score (GUS) Questionnaire is a comprehensive tool usable for checking, comparing, and ranking inhalers’ usability objectively in real life, but it takes some time to fill.
Aim: The aim of this study was to favour the quicker check of DPIs usability in clinical practice by means of a simplified short-form GUS (S-GUS) Questionnaire, while maintaining the high specificity and sensitivity of the original, extended version of the Questionnaire (O-GUS questionnaire).
Methods: The usability of the six most prescribed DPIs was assessed in 222 patients with persistent airway obstruction and needing long-term inhalation treatments. LASSO regression and multicollinearity test were used to select the subset of questions of the O-GUS questionnaire, with the highest information power. Each item was then scored using the corresponding coefficient in the linear regression (normalized at 50 as the O-GUS score). Agreement between the original and the short-form questionnaire was evaluated using the Cohen’s kappa statistic (κ). The overall S-GUS values obtained for each DPI were then compared to those from the O-GUS, in the same patients, using a Bayesian indirect comparison (IC) model.
Results: After the statistical selection of the items mostly contributing to the overall score, the novel S-GUS questionnaire consists of twelve items only. Nine items are related to patients’ opinion before DPIs handling, and three to the nurse’s assessment after DPIs practicality. O-GUS and S-GUS score were strongly correlated (R2=0.9843, p<0.0001) and the usability score calculated for each DPI by means of the O- and of S- GUS overlapped almost completely (κ=84.5%, 95% CI 81.3% to 89.2%). Furthermore, S-GUS was much faster to complete than O-GUS (mean time 6.1 vs 23.4 minutes, p<0.001). Estimates of S-GUS, obtained from the IC model, allowed to propose a simple classification of usability: “good” by GUS values >25; “pretty good” by values ≤25≥15, and “insufficient” by values <15.
Conclusions: The S-GUS proves as much specific and suitable as the extended O-GUS questionnaire in measuring DPIs usability, while maintaining the same high sensitivity. As the time required for its use is quite shorter, S-GUS is also particularly suitable and helpful in current clinical practice.



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Original Research Articles
inhalation devices, dry powder inhalers, usability, global usability score, GUS, GUS short-form, bronchial asthma, COPD
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How to Cite
Povero, M., Turco, P., Bonadiman, L., & Dal Negro, R. W. (2020). The Global Usability Score Short-Form for the simplified assessment of dry powder inhalers (DPIs) usability. Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine, 15.

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