Pharmacists' perspectives on monitoring adherence to treatment in Cystic Fibrosis

Karen Mooney, Cristín Ryan, Damian G Downey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Cystic Fibrosis (CF) management requires complex treatment regimens but adherence to treatment is poor and has negative health implications. There are various methods of measuring adherence, but little is known regarding the extent of adherence measurement in CF centres throughout the UK and Ireland.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the adherence monitoring practices in CF centres throughout the UK and Ireland, and to establish CF pharmacists' views on these practices.

SETTING: UK and Ireland Cystic Fibrosis Pharmacists' Group's annual meeting (2014).

METHODS: A questionnaire was designed, piloted and distributed to pharmacists attending the UK and Ireland Cystic Fibrosis Pharmacists' Group's annual meeting (2014). The main outcome measures were the methods of inhaled/nebulised antibiotic supply and the methods used to measure treatment adherence in CF centres. The questionnaire also ascertained the demographic information of participating pharmacists. Closed question responses were analysed using descriptive statistics. Open questions were analysed using content analysis.

RESULTS: Twenty-one respondents (84 % response) were included in the analysis and were mostly from English centres (66.7 %). Detailed records of patients receiving their inhaled/nebulised antibiotics were lacking. Adherence was most commonly described to be measured at 'every clinic visit' (28.6 %) and 'occasionally' (28.6 %). Patient self-reported adherence was the most commonly used method of measuring adherence in practice (90.5 %). The availability of electronic adherence monitoring in CF centres did not guarantee its use. Pharmacists attributed an equal professional responsibility for adherence monitoring in CF to Consultants, Nurses and Pharmacists. Seventy-six percent of pharmacists felt that the current adherence monitoring practices within their own unit were inadequate and associated with the absence of sufficient specialist CF pharmacist involvement. Many suggested that greater specialist pharmacist involvement could facilitate improved adherence monitoring.

CONCLUSION: Current adherence knowledge is largely based on self-report. Further work is required to establish the most appropriate method of adherence monitoring in CF centres, to improve the recording of adherence and to understand the impact of increased specialist pharmacist involvement on that adherence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-302
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
Issue number2
Early online date29 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ireland
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence
  • Pharmacists
  • Professional Role
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United Kingdom
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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