Examining relationships between psychosocial factors and medical adherence in children awaiting solid organ transplantation and their parents
Lee, Jennifer Lynn
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Objective: The study aimed to create a psychological description of parents and children being evaluated for solid organ transplantation compared to normative samples. Parent personality factors were examined as predictors of parent psychological functioning, child health-related quality of life (HRQOL), parent medication knowledge, and child medication adherence. Method: Sixty-five caregivers (M age = 36.65, 89.2% female) of children (M age = 7.94, Range: 0-20 years) undergoing evaluation for a solid organ transplant were recruited. Parents completed questionnaires about their psychological distress, post-traumatic stress (PTSS), personality, medication knowledge, and medication adherence. Parent-proxy report of child HRQOL was collected. Results: Parents reported similar levels of psychological distress and PTSS to normative samples. Lower HRQOL for children was reported. Parent conscientiousness (+) and psychological distress (-) were predictors of child HRQOL. Parent neuroticism (+) predicted parent psychological distress. Time since the child’s diagnosis (+) predicted medication knowledge. Medication knowledge (+) and parent conscientiousness (+) predicted medication adherence, also resulting in a significant moderation effect. Conclusions: A thorough family-focused evaluation during the pre-transplant period would be helpful to determine which families are at risk for negative outcomes. Parent personality significant impacts child functioning and adherence prior to transplant. Parent medication knowledge and parent psychological distress are modifiable factors that would be good targets for intervention during the pre-transplant period.