Background: Treatment adherence in cystic fibrosis (CF) is often poor, however, less is known about adherence to pancreatic enzymes, a critical component of the CF treatment regimen. Parent caregivers often report elevations in depression, and parental depression may adversely affect children's adherence.
Methods: This prospective study evaluated adherence to pancreatic enzymes in 83 patients (1-13 years) . Adherence was measured across 3 months with electronic pill-caps . Weight was measured at baseline and a 3-month follow-up. Parental depressive symptoms were evaluated by using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D).
Results: Adherence to pancreatic enzymes was 49.4% ± 3.4%. Adherence was higher at school (94.4% ± 6.1%) than at home (42.3% ± 3.1%), and higher for toddlers (50.6% ± 5.2%) than for school-aged children (37.5% ± 3.7%). Parents reported high rates of depressive symptoms (30% in the clinical range, 18% with moderate symptoms). Children of parents with symptoms of depression versus those without were less adherent (34.8% ± 4.5% vs 48.5% ± 4.1%), and adherence to enzymes was significantly related to 3-month weight outcomes. Average gain in weight z scores across 3 months was 0.5 ± 0.2for children who were >50% adherent and -0.1 ± 6.1for children who were <33% adherent. Parental depression had a signifcant, indirect effect on weight via adherence (-0.005 ± 0.003 gain in weight z score per CES-D unit ).
Conclusions: High rates of parental depressive symptoms, coupled with its negative effects on adherence, suggest that measuring and treating parental depression may improve children's adherence to therapy.
Copyright © 2016 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.