Medication-taking among adult renal transplant recipients: Barriers and strategies

Elisa J. Gordon, Mary Gallant, Ashwini R. Sehgal, David Conti, Laura A. Siminoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Medication adherence is essential for the survival of kidney grafts, however, the complexity of the medication-taking regimen makes adherence difficult. Little is known about barriers to medication-taking and strategies to foster medication-taking. This cross-sectional study involved semi-structured interviews with 82 kidney transplant recipients approximately 2 months post-transplant on medication-related adherence, barriers to medication-taking, and strategies to foster medication-taking. Although self-reported adherence was high (88%), qualitative analysis revealed that half of the patients (49%) reported experiencing at least one barrier to medication-taking. The most common barriers were: not remembering to refill prescriptions (13%), changes to medication prescriptions or dosages (13%), being busy (10%), forgetting to bring medicines with them (10%), and being away from home (10%). The most common strategies to foster medication-taking were: maintaining a schedule of medication-taking (60%), organizing pills using pillboxes, baggies, cups (42%), bringing medicines with them (34%), organizing pills according to routine times (32%), and relying on other people to remind them (26%). Understanding the range of barriers to adherence and strategies kidney recipients devised to promote medication-taking may help transplant clinicians to better educate transplant recipients about appropriate medication-taking, mitigate the risk of medication nonadherence-related rejection, and may help inform patient-centered interventions to improve medication adherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)534-545
Number of pages12
JournalTransplant International
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Adherence
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Medication-taking
  • Qualitative research
  • Self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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