Trials and tribulations with electronic medication adherence monitoring in kidney transplantation

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Abstract

Medication adherence in kidney transplantation is critical to prevent graft rejection. Testing interventions designed to support patients to take their prescribed medications following a kidney transplant require an accurate measure of medication adherence. In research, the available methods for measuring medication adherence include self-report, pill counts, prescription refill records, surrogate measures of medication adherence and medication bottles with a microchip-embedded cap to record bottle openings. Medication bottles with a microchip-embedded cap are currently regarded as the gold standard measure. This commentary outlines the challenges in measuring medication adherence using electronic medication monitoring of kidney transplant patients recruited from five sites. The challenges included obtaining unanimous stakeholder support for using this method, agreement on an index medication to measure, adequate preparation of the patient and training of pharmacy staff, and how to analyze data when periods of time were not recorded using the electronic adherence measure. Provision of this information will enable hospital and community pharmacists to implement approaches that promote the effective use of this adherence measure for optimal patient outcomes.

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