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Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2010 Jan;16(1):36-41. doi: 10.1002/ibd.20988.

Barriers to adherence among adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease.

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Medical College of Wisconsin, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226, USA.



The purpose of this study was to describe barriers to adherence among adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and to examine demographic, disease-related, and treatment regimen-related correlates of adherence barriers using a multimethod reporting strategy. A final goal was to examine relationships between the frequencies of barriers and levels of nonadherence.


In all, 64 adolescents (ages 11-18) participated, along with 61 mothers and 25 fathers. Barriers to adherence and ratings of medication adherence were assessed via patient and parent reports. Disease activity ratings were provided by pediatric gastroenterologists.


Lack of time and medication side effects were commonly reported barriers across adolescent, mother, and father reports. Other adolescent-reported barriers included missing medication due to feeling well or discontinuing medication based on the belief that the medication was not working. The prevalence of adherence barriers was not consistently associated with adolescent age, sex, time since diagnosis, or disease activity. Adolescents whose regimen involved more than 1 daily medication administration had more adherence barriers based on adolescent and maternal report than did those whose regimen involved 1 or less than 1 daily medication administration. Finally, adherence barriers were significantly higher among families reporting imperfect adherence as compared to those reporting perfect adherence.


Barriers to medication adherence do exist among adolescents with IBD and may have negative implications for medication adherence. Systematic assessment of barriers during routine medical appointments may help to identify and modify these barriers and ultimately improve adherence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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