Improving ImmunoSuppression Adherence After Liver or Kidney Transplantation

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    Medical University of Graz
Updated on 19 September 2021


Indication: liver (LT) or kidney Transplantation (KT)

Objectives: to measure medication adherence in liver or kidney transplant patients with and without multilevel intervention programme over time

Trial Design: prospective, single-centre, randomized controlled study

Population: patients (male/female/diverse) between 18 and 90 years of age scheduled for LT or KT

Sample Size:

75 control patients (standard of care) 75 patients in treatment group (participation in multilevel intervention programme)

Statistical Analysis: The data will be analysed descriptively; continuous variables will be summarized using mean SD (standard deviation) or median, minimum and maximum and categorical data will be summarized using absolute and relative frequencies. For the primary outcome (Adherence to the immunosuppressive regime measured by BAASIS) and further categorical variables, differences between the groups will be assessed by the Pearson Chi-square test or Fisher's exact test. Group differences for continuous parameters will be assessed by the two-sample T-test or Mann-Whitney-U-test as appropriate.

Trial Duration and Dates: November 2019-October 2021


Organ transplantation is the best option for patients with chronic organ failure. After kidney (KT) or liver transplantations (LT), immunosuppressive medications have to be taken to avoid rejection. Lifelong adherence, the extent to which the patients behaviour matches the agreed upon prescribers recommendations, to immunosuppressive drugs is important to prevent graft failure (Pabst et al., 2015). The consequent immunosuppression intake and regular physician visits are important factors for a long transplant survival (Nhre et al., 2018).

A high rate of immunosuppressive medication non-adherence and its impact on post-transplant graft function indicate a need for adherence enhancing interventions (De Bleser et al., 2011).

Non-adherence is linked to poor post-transplant outcomes including late acute rejection and graft loss (De Geest S. et al 2011; Dew MA et al 2008). Dew et al. concluded from a metaanalysis of 147 transplantation studies that nonadherence in renal allograft recipients was highest among solid organ transplant recipients, reaching 36 cases per 100 patients per year (Dew et al., 2007). Detection of adherence can be obtained by objective direct measures (observation that medication was taken) or indirect and subjective measures like self-reporting. The indirect measures include serum drug levels, biological markers and electronic monitoring. Adherence is a dynamic process with the need to be repetitive over time. The monitoring should be incorporated into the routine clinical management of all organ recipients. A recent study showed that combining self-reporting, assay and clinicians report yielded the highest sensitivity (72%) and specificity (42%) when compared to electronic monitoring (Low et al., 2019). Some new evidence suggest that moving from twice-daily to once-daily dosing of the immunosuppressive regimen, the calcineurin inhibitor, show indifferent prevalence rates with increased adherence or not improving the adherence (Lehner et al., 2018; Fellstrm et al., 2018).The aim of our study is to test the efficacy of such a multilevel education and psychosomatic intervention programme for improving medication adherence in patients after LT or KT.

  1. Primary Objective and Primary Endpoint The primary endpoint is the assessment of patient adherence using a validated version of the Basel Assessment of Adherence to Immunosuppressive Medication Scale (BAASIS) questionnaire.
  2. Secondary Objectives and Secondary Endpoints Secondary endpoints include the influence of the multilevel intervention programme on the coefficient of variation (CV%) of Tacrolimus (TAC), clinical outcomes including incidence of infections, acute rejection, liver and kidney values, death, graft loss, hospital readmission during the study period, side effects, number of trough level controls necessary during first 6 months, and achievement of TAC target concentrations.

Condition Adherence Intervention Post Transplantation
Treatment Multilevel psychotherapeutic intervention programme
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04207125
SponsorMedical University of Graz
Last Modified on19 September 2021

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