Adherence Behavior in Subjects on Hemodialysis Is Not a Clear Predictor of Posttransplantation Adherence
Introduction: Nonadherence is common in both hemodialysis (HD) and kidney transplant recipients and is a major risk factor for poor clinical outcomes. This retrospective study explored whether nonadherent HD patients become nonadherent transplant recipients. Methods: Data were collected for 88 patients from the electronic patient system at a subregional renal unit about adherence to HD regimens in the 6 months before transplantation, and for 1 year posttransplantation following return transfer to the posttransplantation clinic from the transplanting center. Pretransplantation definitions of nonadherence included whether the patients: on average, shortened their dialysis prescription by >10 minutes; shortened it by >15 minutes; missed 2 or more HD sessions; and had mean serum phosphate levels >1.8mmol/l. Posttransplantation definitions of nonadherence included mean tacrolimus levels outside 5 to 10 ng/ml; and missed 1 or more posttransplantation clinic appointments. Results: Nonadherence ranged from 25% to 42% pretransplantation and from 15.9% to 22.7% posttransplantation, depending on how it was operationalized. There was little relationship between pretransplantation data and posttransplantation adherence, with the exception of a significant relationship between pretransplantation phosphate and posttransplantation clinic attendance. Patients who had missed 1 or more transplant clinic appointments had higher mean pretransplantation phosphate levels. Nonadherent patients with high phosphate levels pretransplantation and missed clinic appointments posttransplantation were significantly younger. Conclusion: Our findings provide little support for the likelihood of a strong direct relationship between pre and posttransplantation behaviors. The findings require confirmation and further research to assess whether interventions in relation to pretransplantation adherence may enhance adherence posttransplantation and improve outcomes.