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.
Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.