Executive functioning, caregiver monitoring, and medication adherence over time in adolescents with chronic kidney disease.

Cyd K. Eaton, Kara M. Duraccio, Michelle N. Eakin, Tammy M. Brady, Cozumel S. Pruette, Thomas Eckmann, Susan R. Mendley, Shamir Tuchman, Barbara A. Fivush, Kristin A. Riekert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate associations between executive functioning and caregiver adherence monitoring with objective antihypertensive medication adherence over 24 months in adolescents with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Methods: Adolescents (N = 97, 11–20 years old) with CKD taking antihypertensive medication and their caregivers were recruited from three pediatric nephrology clinics. At baseline, adolescents and caregivers reported on adolescents’ executive functioning and caregivers reported on their adherence monitoring. Antihypertensive medication adherence was objectively assessed via electronic monitoring at baseline and every 6 months after for 24 months. Associations between executive functioning, caregiver monitoring, and longitudinal adherence were evaluated with linear mixed models. Results: Up to 38% of adolescents had elevated executive functioning scores indicating more severe impairments, with rates varying by scale and reporter (adolescent vs. caregiver). Caregiver monitoring showed a significant, negative association with adherence, but adolescents’ executive functioning was not significantly associated with adherence. Neither variable was associated with the rate of change in adherence over time. Conclusions: Given that adolescents’ executive functioning was not associated with antihypertensive medication adherence or changes in adherence over time, adherence to daily pill-form medications may involve less cognitive effort than more complex medical regimens. Higher levels of caregiver monitoring were unexpectedly associated with lower adherence levels. This unanticipated finding may reflect increased caregiver monitoring efforts when faced with adolescents’ medication nonadherence, but this finding warrants further investigation. Adolescents with CKD who are nonadherent may benefit from medication adherence-promoting strategies beyond increasing caregiver monitoring. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-518
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2020


  • adherence
  • caregiver monitoring
  • executive functioning
  • kidney diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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