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Fam Syst Health. 2011 Mar;29(1):44-54. doi: 10.1037/a0023024.

Efficacy and flexibility impact perceived adherence barriers in pediatric kidney post-transplantation.

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  • 1Center for the Promotion of Treatment Adherence and Self-Management, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA.


The alarming rates of medication nonadherence and its detrimental effect on long-term graft survival in pediatric kidney transplantation has called attention to identifying modifiable factors that promote better adherence and subsequent transplant outcomes. In a sample of 45 adolescent kidney transplant recipients (14.7 ± 3.3 years, 77.8% Caucasian, 39.5% female) and their primary caregivers, study aims included: 1) identifying sociodemographic and medical correlates of both caregiver- and patient-reported general family functioning (i.e., efficacy, flexibility, and communication) and 2) determining the unique contributions of these family functioning indices to perceived posttransplant adherence barriers. During a routine clinic visit, caregivers completed a sociodemographic form and questionnaire on general family functioning. Both caregivers and the adolescents completed a measure on perceived medication adherence barriers. Data identified household income and family structure as persistent correlates of family functioning. Familial efficacy and flexibility contributed significant variance to perceived adherence barriers. Family-based interventions enhancing modifiable family factors, such as flexibility and efficacy, in overcoming medication adherence barriers would likely promote more optimal health outcomes in the pediatric kidney transplant population.

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