• adherence;
  • immunosuppressant therapy;
  • kidney transplantation;
  • liver transplantation;
  • quality of life

Morales JM, Varo E, Lázaro P. Immunosuppressant treatment adherence, barriers to adherence and quality of life in renal and liver transplant recipients in Spain. Clin Transplant 2011 DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-0012.2011.01544.x. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Abstract:  To assess the adherence to immunosuppressant therapy (IST) and perceived barriers affecting IST adherence and quality of life (QOL) in patients who had received a renal (RT) or liver transplant (LT), a questionnaire was sent to over 9000 RT and LT recipients in Spain. Questionnaire comprised questions about patient’s socio-demographic, organ transplant and medication characteristics; IST adherence and patient’s perceived barriers to adherence; and patient’s QOL using the EuroQol. Data from 1983 RT patients and 1479 LT patients were analyzed. Self-reported adherence to IST in RT (92.6%) and LT (88.5%) recipients was high. Daily medication intake (mean of 2–3 doses/d per patient) was considered a lifestyle restriction in about 25% of transplant recipients and was the most common barrier to adherence perceived by over 30% of RT and LT patients. Overall, high-intensity treatment regimens were associated with poorer QOL (EuroQol <70) compared with low-intensity treatment regimens. Most RT (71.0%) and LT (61.4%) patients would prefer to suppress the evening dose if they were able to. Although high adherence rates to IST were reported in this first large Spanish survey in RT and LT patients, adjustment of daily treatment intensity by less frequent dosing may be an adequate strategy to minimize barriers to adherence and improve QOL.