Barriers to adherence in adolescents and young adults with cystic fibrosis: a questionnaire study in young patients and their parents

Vibeke Bregnballe, Peter Oluf Schiøtz, Kirsten A Boisen, Tacjana Pressler, Mikael Thastum
Patient Preference and Adherence 2011, 5: 507-15

BACKGROUND: Treatment adherence is crucial in patients with cystic fibrosis, but poor adherence is a problem, especially during adolescence. Identification of barriers to treatment adherence and a better understanding of how context shapes barriers is of great importance in the disease. Adolescent reports of barriers to adherence have been studied, but studies of their parents' experience of such barriers have not yet been carried out. The aim of the present study was to explore barriers to treatment adherence identified by young patients with cystic fibrosis and by their parents.

METHODS: A questionnaire survey of a cohort of young Danish patients with cystic fibrosis aged 14-25 years and their parents was undertaken.

RESULTS: Barriers to treatment adherence were reported by 60% of the patients and by 62% of their parents. Patients and parents agreed that the three most common barriers encountered were lack of time, forgetfulness, and unwillingness to take medication in public. We found a significant positive correlation between reported number of barriers and perceived treatment burden. We also found a statistically significant relationship between the reported number of barriers and treatment adherence. A significant association was found between the number of barriers and the reactions of adolescents/young adults and those of their mothers and fathers, and between the number of barriers and the way the family communicated about cystic fibrosis.

CONCLUSION: The present study showed that the majority of adolescents with cystic fibrosis and their parents experienced barriers to treatment adherence. Agreement between adolescents and their parents regarding the level and types of barriers indicates an opportunity for close cooperation between adolescents, their parents, and health care professionals in overcoming adolescent adherence problems.

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