Background: Among kidney transplant recipients, non-adherence with immunosuppressive medications frequently precedes allograft loss. We sought to determine the prevalence and correlates of medication non-adherence among kidney transplant recipients. Methods. We performed a single-center, cross-sectional study of kidney transplant recipients who were at least 6 months post-transplant. We measured self-reported adherence using the Immunosuppressive Therapy Adherence Scale (ITAS, which is scored from 0 to 12, where higher scores indicate increased adherence) and barriers to adherence using the Immunosuppressive Therapy Barriers Scale (ITBS). We also used validated scales to measure perceived stress, health literacy, anxiety, depression, and interpersonal support. Results: The 252 patients included in the study were 59.9% male, 27.0% Black, and at a median of 2.9 years post-transplant (interquartile range [IQR] 1.4-5.8). On the ITAS, 59.1% scored a perfect 12, 26.6% scored 10-11, and 14.3% scored 0-9. In univariate models, non-adherence (defined as ITAS score ≤9) was significantly associated with increased scores on scales for perceived stress (OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.01-1.25) and depression (OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.02-1.28), and with more self-reported barriers to adherence on the ITBS (OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.08-1.22). After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, stress and depression were not associated with non-adherence. Higher scores on the ITBS (corresponding to more self-described barriers to adherence) were associated with lower scores on the ITAS (P < 0.001). Several individual barriers were associated with non-adherence. Conclusions: Among prevalent kidney transplant recipients, a minority is non-adherent. Practical barriers to adherence may serve as promising targets for future interventions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Kidney transplantation