Motivating adherence among adolescents with cystic fibrosis: youth and parent perspectives

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2015 Feb;50(2):127-36. doi: 10.1002/ppul.23017. Epub 2014 Mar 10.


As advances in the care of individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF) have resulted in improved survival, therapeutic regimens for treatment of CF have become increasingly complex. This high treatment burden poses challenges to chronic disease self-management, particularly amongst adolescents. The aim of this qualitative study was to understand the barriers and facilitators of adherence to chronic CF therapies as perceived by adolescents with CF and their parents. In a series of structured interviews with 18 youth and their parents, we explored issues related to daily routines, youth and parental roles regarding chronic therapy, and motivators for adherence. All interviews were audio-recorded and coded for themes and patterns. Reported barriers to adherence included time pressures, competing priorities, heightened awareness of disease trajectory, privacy concerns, and lack of perceived consequences from non-adherence. Identified facilitators for adherence included recognizing the importance of therapies, developing strong relationships with care teams, establishing structured routines, and focusing on shifting responsibilities from a parent to their adolescent child. The themes uncovered by these interviews identify areas for intervention and support by clinical programs seeking to improve adherence and self-management strategies for adolescents with CF.

Keywords: adherence; adolescents; cystic fibrosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude to Health
  • Confidentiality
  • Cystic Fibrosis / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Parents*
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Sampling Studies
  • Self Care*
  • Time
  • Young Adult