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Keywords:

  • transition;
  • adolescence;
  • adherence;
  • pediatric liver transplantation;
  • self-management

Fredericks EM, Dore-Stites D, Well A, Magee JC, Freed GL, Shieck V, Lopez MJ. Assessment of transition readiness skills and adherence in pediatric liver transplant recipients. Pediatr Transplantation 2010: 14:944–953. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Abstract:  To examine transition readiness, adherence, and health outcomes in pediatric liver transplant recipients using a clinically administered screening measure. Seventy-one pediatric liver transplant recipients (11–20 yr) and 58 parents completed a clinic-based TRS measuring perceived and demonstrated self-management skills, AoR for health-related tasks, regimen knowledge, and psychosocial adjustment. Adherence was measured using s.d. of immunosuppressants, proportion of immunosuppressant blood levels out of target range, and clinic attendance. Health outcomes included liver test panels, biopsies, rejection episodes, and hospitalizations. Results indicate that all domains of transition readiness, with the exception of demonstrated skills, and non-adherence were positively correlated with age. Proportion of immunosuppressant blood levels below target range was positively correlated with self-management skills and increased responsibility for medication tasks. Parent regimen knowledge was associated with clinic attendance. Health outcomes were significantly related to medication non-adherence, but not to transition readiness domains. Medication adherence is considered to be a key factor in the transition from pediatric to adult-centered transplant care. Non-adherence is associated with an increased risk for medical complications and is potentially modifiable. Interventions to promote self-management skills and adherence should be an essential component of transition planning.