Background: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the recommended first-line pharmacotherapy for pediatric anxiety disorders but adherence remains difficult to predict. Objectives: To estimate SSRI adherence in children with anxiety disorders and determine if prior parental medication adherence is predictive of child high SSRI adherence. Methods: We identified children (3-17 y) initiating SSRI treatment after an anxiety disorder diagnosis in a commercial claims database (2005-2014). We evaluated parent SSRI, statin, and antihypertensive adherence [6-mo proportion days covered (PDC), high adherence=PDC≥0.80] in the year before child SSRI initiation. We estimated risk differences (RD) of child high SSRI adherence (6-mo PDC) stratified by parent adherence and multivariable risk ratios using modified Poisson regression. We estimated change in c-statistic and risk reclassification when adding parent-level covariates with child-level covariates to predict child adherence. Results: In 70,979 children with an anxiety disorder (59%=female, 14=median age), the mean 6-month SSRI PDC was 0.72, with variation by anxiety disorder. Overall 64% of children had high adherence if their parent had high SSRI adherence versus 53% of children with parents with low SSRI adherence (RD, 12%; multivariable risk ratios, 1.17; 95% confidence interval, 1.14-1.20). Findings were similar for parent statin (RD=10%) and antihypertensive adherence (RD=8%) and when stratified by child age and parent sex. There was minor improvement in risk reclassification and the c-statistic after adding parent adherence and parent-level covariates. Conclusions: Parental medication adherence could help providers identify children at risk of nonadherence to inform the treatment decision, reduce unnecessary medication switches, and lead to broader effective interventions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- anxiety disorders
- medication adherence