What is adherence?
Adherence can be defined as the extent to which the patient’s behaviour matches the recommendations agreed upon with the health care provider. Nonadherence therefore is the degree to which the patient’s behaviour deviates from this agreement. Adherence after liver transplantation refers to a variety of health behaviours, including the taking, timing and dosing of immunosuppressive medication, taking medication for other co-occurring conditions, attending clinic appointments, self-monitoring for symptoms of infection and rejection, undergoing blood work and other tests, as well as performing health behaviours such as regular exercise, controlling calorie intake, limited (if any) alcohol use, abstaining from tobacco or illicit drug use, and avoiding exposure to the sun. This clearly illustrates that transplant recipients need to adhere to a multifactorial, complex, and lifelong regimen.1
Incidence of nonadherence in adult liver recipients:
A recent study investigating the incidence of nonadherent behaviour in a sample of 103 adult liver recipients used a self-report anonymised questionnaire which was specifically designed to assess nonadherence with the transplant medical regimen.2
Almost half (46%) of these adult recipients reported nonadherent behaviour specifically relating to the intake of immunosuppressive drugs (see figure 1 to the left).