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Oral medication adherence in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease

Authors

  • Laura M Mackner PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Psychology, Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, Columbus Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
    • Psychology Department, Columbus Children's Hospital, 700 Children's Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43205
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  • Wallace V Crandall MD

    1. Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, Columbus Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine reports of adherence to oral medications, parent-child concordance in reports of adherence, and factors associated with poor adherence in adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Participants were 50 children with IBD 11 to 17 years of age and their parents. Parents completed an adherence interview and the Child Behavior Checklist, Family Assessment Device, and demographics questionnaires. Separately, adolescents completed the adherence interview and the Piers Harris Self-Concept Scale, Children's Depression Inventory, and Coping Strategies Inventory questionnaires. The treating gastroenterologists of participating children completed the Pediatric Crohn's Disease Activity Index during a clinic visit within a week of completion of the questionnaires. Mean parent- and child-reported adherence scores fell between the “most of the time” and “always” categories, although perfect adherence was low. Among IBD-specific medications (5-ASAs, immunomodulators, steroids), 48% of children and 38% of parents reported being always adherent to all medications. Parent-child concordance was high. Family dysfunction and poor child coping strategies were associated with worse adherence. The correlation between more behavioral/emotional problems and lower adherence approached significance. Adherence should be monitored in families that lack appropriate child discipline and in children who cope by simply wishing stressors would go away. Because these issues are associated with poor adherence, it has been suggested that psychotherapy addressing these areas may contribute to improved adherence.

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