May 23, 2022

Key Predictors of the Need for a Family-Focused Pediatric Epilepsy Adherence Intervention

Abstract published by Wiley Online Library

Objective: Nonadherence to anti-seizure drugs (ASMs) is a significant problem in pediatric epilepsy and is linked to increased morbidity, mortality, clinically unnecessary medication changes, and increased healthcare costs. Family interventions can improve adherence. However, it is challenging to know which families will struggle with nonadherence and require intervention. This study aims to identify specific parent, family, child, and medical factors that predict which families most need family-based adherence interventions.

Methods: Families enrolled in a randomized clinical trial of a family-based adherence intervention completed measures assessing parent, family, child, and medical factors. Families also used an electronic adherence monitor. Adherence >95% was considered high adherence (not requiring intervention) and <95% was considered suboptimal adherence (requiring intervention). We conducted a stepwise logistic regression to assess demographic, medical, child, family, and parent predictors of membership to the suboptimal adherence group.

Results: Of the 200 families of children with new-onset epilepsy who enrolled, 177 families completed the study. Of these families, 121 (68%) were in the high adherence group and 56 (32%) were in the suboptimal adherence group. Families with lower SES, children of color, lower general family functioning, and more parent distress were more likely to be in the suboptimal adherence group.

Significance: We identified that parent and family factors, as well as sociodemographic characteristics predicted membership in the suboptimal adherence group. It is critical to find creative and practical solutions to assessing and intervening upon key adherence predictors. These may include streamlined screening for parental distress and family functioning, as well as recognition that families of lower SES and communities of color may be at heightened risk for suboptimal adherence.