Efficacy of interventions for adherence to the immunosuppressive therapy in kidney transplant recipients: a meta-analysis and systematic review

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Immunosuppressive treatment regimens are complex and require ongoing self-management. Medication adherence can be difficult to achieve for several reasons. The current meta-analysis and systematic review investigated whether adherence interventions improved immunosuppressive treatment adherence in kidney transplant recipients. Medline, Cochrane, EMBASE, and Google Scholar were searched until October 17, 2016 using the following search terms: kidney transplantation, compliance, adherence, and immunosuppressive therapy. Randomized controlled trials and two-arm prospective, retrospective, and cohort studies were included. The primary outcomes were adherence rate and adherence score. Eight studies were included with a total for 546 patients. Among participants receiving intervention, the adherence rate was significantly higher than the control group (pooled OR=2.366, 95% CI 1.222 to 4.578, p=0.011). Participants in the intervention group had greater adherence scores than those in the control group (pooled standardized difference in means =1.706, 95% CI 0.346 to 3.065, p=0.014). Sensitivity analysis indicated that findings for adherence rate were robust. However, for adherence score, the significance of the association disappeared after removing one of the studies indicating the findings may have been overly influenced by this one study. Intervention programs designed to increase immunosuppressive adherence in patients with kidney transplant improve treatment adherence.

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