Waiting for a kidney transplant is agonizing, but taking the medications for preventing a transplant rejection more so. But it has emerged that more than 25 out of 100 transplant patients do not take their medications.
Now, a nursing researcher at the University of Missouri-Columbia is studying the pattern of missing does and is trying to work on intervention methods. Cindy Russell, assistant professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing is using the Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS) to follow such patients. The MEMS has a microchip in the cap to record the date and time the cap is removed to take medicine, thus keeping track of when it is taken. "With this information, we hope to find characteristics that could predict potential problems and develop intervention methods that would help keep kidney transplant patients as healthy as possible and extend the life of their new kidneys and their lives overall," Russell said. Initial results point to many patients being regular, with few being tardy, while the rest regularly miss doses. "We expected the amount of time that had passed since the transplant to make a difference in medication adherence, but we didn't see that," Russell said.