Patient discussions

Patient education about acute bronchitis being a self-limited illness that usually resolves in up to 4 weeks without treatment can help with patient satisfaction.

For patients with wheezing who might benefit from the use of salbutamol, it is important that they receive instructions on the appropriate use of a metered-dose inhaler (MDI). When used properly, short-acting bronchodilators delivered by MDI are just as effective as when administered with a nebuliser. For optimal use of an MDI, patients should hold the inhaler slightly away from their mouth so that the medication does not coat their tongue and palate. The addition of a spacer can help those for whom appropriate use may be difficult, such as frail adults or patients with tremors.

An episode of acute bronchitis is also an opportunity to discuss smoking cessation with patients who use tobacco. Even though direct evidence for an association between cigarette use and acute bronchitis is lacking, this is still an opportunity to intervene in smokers.

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