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Treatment adherence in paediatric inflammatory bowel disease: perceptions from adolescent patients and their families

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The objective of this study was to examine patient‐ and parent‐perceived factors that impact adherence to inflammatory bowel disease treatment using a qualitative descriptive individual interview approach. Sixteen adolescents and their parents were recruited from May through August 2007 and interviewed about medication adherence using an open‐ended semi‐structured interview format. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and coded into themes. Parent–child dyads identified forgetting, interfering activities, parent–child conflict and oppositional behaviour and inadequate planning for treatment as challenges to adherence. Participants reported that family support and good parent–child relationships, routines, monitoring and reminding and organisational tools such as pill boxes facilitated treatment adherence. Other issues that emerged included immediacy of treatment effects and parent‐adolescent responsibility for treatment. Patients and parents experience a number of challenges related to adherence within behavioural, educational, organisational and health belief domains. Behavioural interventions should focus on these issues, reduction of perceived barriers, and effective transition of responsibility for treatment adherence. Future research considerations are discussed.
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Keywords: adolescent health; bowel disease; chronic disease management; compliance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, Xavier University 2: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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