Assessing associations between medication adherence and potentially modifiable psychosocial variables in pediatric kidney transplant recipients and their families

A. C. Gerson, S. L. Furth, A. M. Neu, B. A. Fivush

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

Post-transplant immunosuppressant (IS) medication adherence is essential for long-term graft survival and relatively little is known about psychosocial barriers that interfere with optimum medication adherence in pediatric kidney transplant patients. The objective of this prospective observational cohort study was to assess the impact of modifiable psychosocial variables on medication adherence. Our hypothesis was that parental stress, dysfunctional parent-child interactions and child behavior problems would be associated with poorer medication adherence. Thirteen pediatric kidney transplant patients and their caregivers were enrolled. Transplant recipients who were able to read and caregivers of all the transplant recipients completed behavioral and attitudinal surveys. A subgroup of seven families dispensed their primary IS medication from an electronic monitoring vial (MEMS Smart Cap). For these patients, medication adherence was calculated by computing a ratio of the medication taken divided by the prescribed dose. In addition, for the entire group, serial IS levels were reviewed by two board certified pediatric nephrologists who categorized all 13 transplant recipient families as either 'probably adherent (PA)' or 'possibly non-adherent (PNA)'. Pearson correlation coefficients and independent samples Student t-tests were used to assess the association between medication adherence and psychosocial variables measured by standardized questionnaires. In this study, elevated parental stress, dysfunctional parent-child interactions, and child behavior problems were associated with poorer medication adherence. In addition, we found evidence to support the relationship between subjective dissatisfaction with appearance and poorer medication adherence. These findings suggest that pre-transplant recipient evaluations of risk factors for poor adherence are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-550
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric transplantation
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2004

Keywords

  • Adherence
  • Children
  • Electronic monitors
  • Kidney transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Transplantation

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