Differences in Medication Adherence between Living and Deceased Donor Kidney Transplant Patients


Background: Literature review suggests that adherence to immunosuppressive drugs may be lower in recipients of living than of deceased donor kidney grafts, possibly because of profile differences.

Objective: To compare the level of immunosuppressive adherence levels between patients with deceased and living (-related; -unrelated) donor grafts in Switzerland.

Methods: Using data from two similar cross-sectional studies at two transplant centers in Switzerland, the level of adherence between the two groups was compared. Medication adherence was assessed by self-report or electronic monitoring. Possible explanatory factors included age, beliefs regarding immunosuppressive drugs, depressive symptomatology, pre-emptive transplantation, and the number of transplants received, were also considered. Data were analyzed using logistic regression analysis.

Results: Unadjusted non-adherence odds were 2 to 3 times higher in living-related than deceased donor transplantation (ORs: 2.09-3.05; p<0.05). Adjustment for confounders showed that these differences were associated most with the younger age of living-related subjects and the belief that immunosuppressive drugs are less important for living-related donations.

Conclusion: There is a lower immunosuppressive adherence in recipients of living-related donor kidneys, possibly owing to differences in patient profile (ie, health beliefs regarding their immunosuppressive needs), knowledge of which may enhance adherence if addressed.


Living related transplantation; Immunosuppressant adherence; Kidney transplantation; Donor; Graft

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 pISSN: 2008-6482
 eISSN: 2008-6490


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