Attitudes towards medication non-adherence in elderly kidney transplant patients: A Q methodology study
Background. Non-adherence to the post-transplant regime is a common problem in kidney transplant patients and may lead to rejection or even graft failure. This study investigated attitudes towards the post-transplant regime of immunosuppressive medication among the ever growing population of elderly kidney recipients.Methods. Q methodology was used to explore attitude profiles. Participants (> 65 years) were asked to rank-order opinion statements on issues associated with (non-)adherence. The rankings were subject to by-person factor analysis, and the resulting factors were interpreted and described as attitudes.Results. Twenty-six elderly renal transplant recipients participated in the study. All passed the Mini-Mental State Examination. Two attitude profiles were found: (i) satisfied and easy-going (attitude A), and (ii) reserved and concerned (attitude B). Elderly patients with attitude A want to enjoy the new life following their kidney transplant, are not very concerned about having to recommence dialysis, now and then even forget their regime, and do not really worry about it. Elderly patients with attitude B feel more insecure about their kidney transplant, are fairly concerned over issues like rejection or going back on dialysis, and try to adapt their way of life to the regime. One-third of these elderly patients forget their medication at least once a month, but there was no difference between attitude groups.Conclusions. Attitudes about the post-transplant regime differ among elderly patients, implying different needs for assistance, monitoring and risk of non-adherence to the regime. The proportion of elderly patients who forget their medication is considerable, but may be much higher among those with mild and severe cognitive limitations.