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Nurs Res. 2011 May-Jun;60(3):190-6. doi: 10.1097/NNR.0b013e318215fdfe.

Family strategies for achieving medication adherence in pediatric kidney transplantation.

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  • 1Center for Promotion of Treatment Adherence and Self-Management, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229-3039, USA.



Although nonadherence is well documented and strategies for adherence have been shown to be critical to overcoming barriers and improving overall adherence rates, it is unknown how family strategy use is related to adherence in the pediatric renal transplant population.


The aims of this study were to assess (a) the strategies used by adolescents with kidney transplants and their caregivers to adhere to the posttransplant oral medication regimen and (b) the relationship of these strategies to objective adherence rates.


Semistructured interviews to assess self-management were administered to 17 adolescents (14-18 years) and 17 caregivers. Adherence to oral immunosuppressant medication, measured via electronic monitors, was determined also for a subset of 13 dyads.


Common strategies endorsed by families included the following: making it part of the routine (88.2%), verbal reminders by caregiver (82.4%), caregiver verifying medication was taken (76.5%), placing medication in a convenient location (76.5%), and using a pillbox (70.6%). A greater number of family-endorsed strategies were correlated with higher levels of adherence. Of those strategies spontaneously endorsed, only caregiver reminders to take medication and caregiver verification that medications were taken were related significantly to higher adherence rates.


The findings highlight the importance of identification and use of specific strategies to improve adherence rates of pediatric renal transplant recipients and emphasize the need for continued caregiver involvement in the promotion of adherence to the treatment regimen.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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