Pediatric-to-adult Transition and Medication Adherence in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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Abstract

Background:

Medication nonadherence is common in inflammatory bowel disease and is associated with poor outcomes. There has been no study on pediatric-to-adult transition as a risk factor for nonadherence in inflammatory bowel disease, which has been demonstrated in other diseases. We aimed to assess whether transitioned (TR) patients have higher nonadherence rates than young adults (YAs) diagnosed in adulthood.

Methods:

Consecutive ambulatory subjects were prospectively recruited and completed the validated Medication Adherence Reporting Scale (MARS), with the primary outcome being adherence differences between group age-matched TR and YA groups. Pediatric subjects were taken as the control group. Perceptions of medication-related necessity and concerns were assessed with the Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire (BMQ). Nonadherers (defined as MARS ≤16) received the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Pharmacist Adherence Counselling (IPAC) intervention and adherence change was reassessed after 6 months as a secondary outcome.

Results:

Adherence in TR patients (n = 38, mean age 20.4, 13.2% nonadherent) was noninferior to and numerically better than YAs diagnosed in adulthood (n = 41, mean age 21.2, 24.4%). Nonadherence in the pediatric control group (n = 50, mean age 14.7) was 8.0%. YAs had significantly higher medication-related concerns (14.6 versus 11.9, P = 0.02) than the pediatric group. The IPAC intervention reduced nonadherence rates by 60% (P = 0.004).

Conclusions:

TR patients did not have worse adherence than YAs diagnosed in adulthood. Protective factors may include previous treatment in pediatric centers and the salient symptomatology of inflammatory bowel disease, whereas increasing concerns over medications contribute to nonadherence in YAs. Pharmacist-led counselling improves adherence in these patients.

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