Turkish Journal of Nephrology
Original Article

Assessment of Adherence to Immunosuppressive Treatment in Kidney Transplant Patients: A Descriptive Study


Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Anadolu University, Faculty of Pharmacy, Eskişehir, Türkiye


Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Hacettepe University, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ankara, Türkiye


Department of Nephrology, Hacettepe University Hospitals, Ankara, Türkiye

Turkish J Nephrol 2023; 32: 241-248
DOI: 10.5152/turkjnephrol.2023.21157239
Read: 627 Downloads: 321 Published: 01 July 2023

Objectives: The study aimed to assess degree of adherence to immunosuppressive medications and to identify the factors related with adherence in renal transplant patients.

Materials and Methods: A prospective, descriptive study was performed in a nephrology outpatient clinic between November 2017 and February 2018. All renal transplant patients had a face-to-face interview with a clinical pharmacist. The data on patients’ demographics and blood drug concentrations were recorded and the Immunosuppressive Therapy Adherence Scale (ITAS) was administered at the clinic. The factors that may affect medication adherence were evaluated among the groups of adherent and non-adherent patients.

Results: The study included 100 renal transplant patients. In regards to immunosuppressive medication; 67, 26 and 7 patients were using tacrolimus, cyclosporine and everolimus, respectively. Only 32 patients had the ITAS score of 12 (known as adherent). Blood drug concentrations of tacrolimus were found to be significantly different between adherent and non-adherent patient groups (p=0.005). Except with body mass index (BMI) (p=0.019) and post transplantation period (p=0.041) no statistical association was found between the rest of the factors and adherence. The most common problem with drug usage was inappropriate time of drug administration (64.0%).

Conclusion: A significant proportion (68%) of renal transplant patients were non-adherent to immunosuppressive medication. Adherence to immunosuppressive medication can be influenced by patient-related factors such as body mass index and post-transplantation time. Therefore, healthcare professionals should be aware of the level of patient’s adherence and factors affecting patient adherence level. A clinical pharmacist may play a critical role in identifying patient’s level of adherence to maintain effective therapy.

Cite this article as: Tecen-Yucel K, Bayraktar-Ekincioglu A, Yıldırım T, Demirkan K, Erdem Y. Assessment of adherence to immunosuppressive treatment in kidneytransplant patients: A descriptive study. Turk J Nephrol. 2023;32(3):241-248.

EISSN 2667-4440