[Noncompliance in organ transplantation: a review]

Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2000 May 19;112(10):423-40.
[Article in German]


The effectiveness of medical treatment depends not only on the appropriateness of the treatment modality but also on the patient's compliance with the intended regimen. The consequences of failing to comply can be damaging and devastating for the individual patient and his/her family. Noncompliance also leads to waste in two areas: first, a reduction of the potential benefits of therapy, and second, the additional cost of treating the avoidable consequent morbidity. A dramatic example of the consequences of noncompliance with the treatment regimen concerns patients who have had organ transplants: life-long immunosuppression is a pre-requisite for good graft function, and noncompliance is often associated with the occurrence of late acute rejection episodes, graft loss, and death. Here it might be assumed that these patients constitute a highly motivated group, and that compliance would be high. Unfortunately, this is not the case: overall noncompliance rates vary from 20 to 50%. There is no systematic and comprehensive review of the literature on noncompliance and its consequences in organ transplant patients to date. This overview includes literature on heart, liver and kidney transplants in adult and paediatric transplant patients and addresses the following issues: preoperative behaviour patterns as predictors of postoperative compliance problems, compliance behaviour after transplantation, noncompliance and its relationship to organ loss and death, retransplantation outcome after graft loss due to noncompliance, reasons for postoperative noncompliance, and ways to promote compliance.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Child
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Diet / psychology
  • Drug Therapy / psychology
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Graft Rejection / etiology
  • Humans
  • Organ Transplantation / mortality*
  • Organ Transplantation / psychology*
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / psychology
  • United States / epidemiology