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Medication adherence interventions in transplantation lack information on how to implement findings from randomized controlled trials in real-world settings: A systematic review.
Kostalova B, Ribaut J, Dobbels F, Gerull S, Mala-Ladova K, Zullig LL, De Geest S. Medication adherence interventions in transplantation lack information on how to implement findings from randomized controlled trials in real-world settings: A systematic review. Transplantation reviews (Orlando, Fla.). 2022 Jan 1; 36(1):100671.
Growing numbers of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are showing the effectiveness of interventions to improve medication adherence in transplantation recipients. However, real-world implementation is still a major challenge. This systematic review assesses the range of information available in RCTs supporting these interventions' clinical adoption in adult transplant populations.
We included RCTs of interventions that a) targeted any phase of medication adherence in solid organ or allogeneic stem cell transplantation recipients and b) were published between January 2015 and November 2020. We excluded study protocols, conference abstracts and studies focusing only on pediatric populations. We identified relevant database and trial registries as well as traced references backward and citations forward. Implementation-relevant information was evaluated using adapted versions of Peters' ten criteria: 1. healthcare/organizational context; 2. social/economic/policy context; 3. patient involvement; 4. other stakeholder involvement; 5. sample representativeness; 6. trial conducted in a real-world-setting; 7. presence of feasibility study; 8. implementation strategy; 9. process evaluation; 10. implementation outcomes, using a stoplight color-rating system.
Screening 17'004 titles/abstracts resulted in 23 eligible RCTs, including 2'339 patients (n = 19-209/study). All included studies focused on the implementation phase of medication adherence. The best-reported criteria were feasibility study (43%), representative sample (17%) and conducted in a real-world-setting (17%). Least reported were context (9%), implementation strategies (4%), process evaluation (4%).
RCTs testing medication adherence interventions tend to report limited implementation-relevant information. This hinders their translation to real-world transplant settings. Integrating implementation science principles early in the conceptualization of RCTs would fuel real-world-translation, reducing research waste.