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eISSN: 2329-0358

Strategies to Improve Patient Engagement in Young Kidney Transplant Recipients: A Review

Vanessa L. Richards, Christopher K. Johnson, Christopher D. Blosser, Lena Sibulesky

Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA, USA

Ann Transplant 2018; 23:654-658

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.910698

Available online:

Published: 2018-09-18

ABSTRACT: Young adult and adolescent kidney transplant recipients have shorter graft survival than older and younger recipients. Although multifactorial, the tendency toward premature graft loss in young kidney transplant recipients has often been attributed to medication nonadherence and the transition from pediatric to adult care. Multiple interventions for medication nonadherence in kidney transplant recipients have been studied. Potential preventative interventions include pre-transplant screening, transition and young adult clinics, technologies such as reminders or mobile applications, and simplification of the post-transplant medication regimen. There are also recent advances in monitoring interventions for nonadherence in transplant recipients, including electronic monitoring devices such as wireless pill bottles and the Ingestible Sensor System, which incorporates ingestible microsensors into medications. Treatment interventions for medication nonadherence include cognitive behavioral programs, behavioral contracts, and screening and treatment for depression. Several of the interventions reviewed are currently available to providers caring for young kidney transplant recipients, without any complex programmatic changes. Further research in all of these areas would be of great value.

Keywords: Kidney Transplantation, Transplantation Tolerance, young adult