Executive Function, Cognitive Impairment, Illness Perceptions and Medication Adherence Among Heart Transplant Recipients
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractHeart transplant recipients are required to take lifelong immunosuppression medications to prevent organ rejection and preserve organ function, however rates of medication nonadherence remain high. This population is at an increased cumulative risk for cerebral hypoxic injury over the course of their lifetime, and a substantial portion of heart transplant recipients may be at risk for cognitive impairment for these reasons. While evidence indicates that a relationship between certain cognitive processes (e.g., executive function) and medication adherence exists across a wide range of chronic diseases, the relationship between these variables has not been studied in heart transplant recipients. The purpose of this research was to describe the associations between certain types of cognitive processes, illness perceptions, and medication adherence in heart transplant recipients. A cross-sectional, observational study involving 35 heart transplant recipients examined these associations. Findings indicate that episodic memory, intrusions, and cognitive impairment were related to medication adherence in this sample. Additionally, illness coherence and depression were associated with adherence. Findings from this study support the need for longitudinal evaluations of cognitive function, depression, and medication adherence and should be considered when developing interventions to support medication adherence.
Degree ProgramGraduate College