Non-adherence to immunosuppressants after lung transplantation- a common risk behavior

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



After lung transplantation, life-long treatment with immunosuppressive medication is required to prevent rejection and graft loss but adherence to immunosuppressive treatment may be difficult for the lung recipient. Adherence is essential and non-adherence to immunosuppressive treatment can lead to graft loss and death.

The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the prevalence of non-adherence 1 to 5 years after lung transplantation in relation to symptom burden, health literacy, psychological well-being and relevant demographic variables.

117 adult lung recipients, due for their annual follow-up 1-5 years after lung transplantation, participated. Four self-report instruments were used for assessment: the Basel Assessment of Adherence with Immunosuppressive Medication Scale, the Newest Vital Sign, the Psychological General Well-Being and the Organ Transplant Symptom and Wellbeing Instrument. Statistical analysis was performed.

Thirty percent of the lung recipients were non-adherent. The most common non-adherence dimension was not taking a dose (43%) and not being punctual with the regimen (80%). Of those working full time or part time, 43% were non-adherent (p=.032). A higher level of non-adherence was reported a long time after LuTx with the highest level at the 3-year follow-up.

The level of non-adherence among lung recipients was high. The highest levels were found among those who had returned to work. Non-adherence increased with time after lung transplantation.


External organisations
  • University of Gothenburg
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Sahlgrenska University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy
Original languageEnglish
JournalOpen Nursing Journal
Issue number58
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch