Transplant International vol:18 issue:10 pages:1121-1133
This literature review summarizes the evidence on the prevalence, determinants, clinical and economic consequences of nonadherence with immunosuppressive drugs in renal transplant patients. A literature search yielded 38 articles measuring nonadherence by self-report, collateral report, assay, refill prescriptions or electronic monitoring. The weighted mean prevalence of self-reported nonadherence was 28%. Nonadherence is associated with poor clinical outcomes, contributing to 20% of late acute rejection episodes and 16% of the graft losses (weighted means). In addition, nonadherence results in lower lifetime costs because of shorter survival, yet also in a lower number of quality adjusted life years. Consistent determinants of nonadherence were younger age, social isolation, and cognitions (e.g. low self-efficacy, certain health beliefs). Determinants concerning the health care system/team seem to be under-investigated. Because the evidence summarized in this review is based on older immunosuppressive regimens, further research should focus on prevalence, determinants and consequences of nonadherence with newer immunosuppressive regimens.