Impact of age and gender on adherence to infection control guidelines and medical regimens in cystic fibrosis

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2011 Mar;46(3):295-301. doi: 10.1002/ppul.21366. Epub 2010 Oct 21.


Rationale: The goal of the present research was to examine the impact of age and gender on adherence to both infection control (IC) guidelines and traditional medical treatments in a cystic fibrosis (CF) population. Adherence behaviors are consistently suboptimal in chronic illness populations, particularly pulmonary diseases; understanding the factors related to adherence behaviors in CF can aid in the development of interventions to promote adherence.

Method: Participants consisted of 74 individuals with CF ages 9 years and above. Participants were asked to complete questionnaires designed to assess demographic data, treatment adherence, and health beliefs.

Results: With respect to IC guidelines, chi-square analyses revealed significant age differences in adherence behaviors such that the young adult subsample was least adherent to IC (χ2 = 15.10, df = 6, P = 0.020). Next, a 4 (age: child, adolescent, young adult, adult) × 2 (gender) completely between subjects analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted on medical treatment adherence. There was a significant main effect for age [F(3, 65) = 2.940, P = 0.040, ηP2 = 0.119] indicating that the adolescent subsample had the most adherence challenges. Gender was nonsignificant across both adherence types.

Conclusions: Study findings are suggestive of age-related differences in adherence behaviors across both IC and medical regimens and support the use of developmentally sensitive approaches to assessment and interventions addressing adherence.

Keywords: adherence; age; cystic fibrosis; gender; infection control.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Cystic Fibrosis / therapy*
  • Female
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / standards*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult