Background: Researchers have estimated that about 50% of pediatric patients with chronic illness adhere to tacrolimus therapy, a medication responsible for preventing critical side effects in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to describe patient adherence to tacrolimus by reviewing documentation from the electronic health record and therapeutic drug levels.
Methods: This retrospective descriptive study examined 357 clinic visits by 57 patients undergoing HSCT. Direct (tacrolimus levels) and indirect (subjective reporting) measures were evaluated.
Findings: The authors found that, in 51% of visits, adherence was not documented. The overall nontherapeutic drug level rate was 60%. Because of the small sample size, nonadherence did not statistically correlate with nontherapeutic levels. The findings highlight the need for adherence awareness, assessment, and documentation in clinical practice.