Peer Reviewed Study

Directly observed therapy to promote medication adherence in adolescent heart transplant recipients

National Library of Medicine
Killian, M. O., Clifford, S., Skivington, G., Lustria, M., & Gupta, D.

Written By Killian, M. O., Clifford, S., Skivington, G., Lustria, M., & Gupta, D.

Aug 26, 2022


Purpose: HT recipients experience high levels of medication non-adherence during adolescence. This pilot study examined the acceptability and feasibility of an asynchronous DOT mHealth application among adolescent HT recipients. The app facilitates tracking of patients' dose-by-dose adherence and enables transplant team members to engage patients. The DOT application allows patients to self-record videos while taking their medication and submit for review. Transplant staff review the videos and communicate with patients to engage and encourage medication adherence.

Methods: Ten adolescent HT recipients with poor adherence were enrolled into a single-group, 12-week pilot study examining the impact of DOT on adherence. Secondary outcomes included self-report measures from patients and parents concerning HRQOL and adherence barriers. Long-term health outcomes assessed included AR and hospitalization 6 months following DOT.

Findings: Among 14 adolescent HT patients approached, 10 initiated the DOT intervention. Of these, 8 completed the 12-week intervention. Patients and caregivers reported high perceptions of acceptability and accessibility. Patients submitted 90.1% of possible videos demonstrating medication doses taken. MLVI values for the 10 patients initiating DOT decreased from 6 months prior to the intervention (2.86 ± 1.83) to 6 months following their involvement (2.08 ± 0.87) representing a 21.7% decrease in non-adherence, though not statistically significant given the small sample size.

Conclusions: Result of this pilot study provides promising insights regarding the feasibility, acceptability, and potential impact of DOT for adolescent HT recipients. Further randomized studies are required to confirm these observations.

Keywords: adolescent; mHealth; medication adherence; pediatric organ transplantation.

© 2022 The Authors. Pediatric Transplantation published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.

Peer Reviewed Study
Peer Reviewed Study


No items found.