Immunosuppression after pediatric liver transplant: The parents’ perspective

Irini Batsis, John Bucuvalas, Elizabeth Eisenberg, Jennifer Lau, James E. Squires, Sandy Feng, Emily R. Perito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: For children with liver transplants (LT), achieving an “ideal outcome” is a balancing act: too little immunosuppression begets graft injury; too much begets systemic complications. We aimed to delineate the parental perspective on this tightrope. Methods: Parents of children with LT completed an internet-based survey about their child's immunosuppression. Results: Children of respondents (n = 82) were a median 4 years from primary LT (range 0–22); 73% were on immunosuppression monotherapy. Parents’ top concerns were related to immunosuppression complications; 46% were more concerned about immunosuppression complications than rejection; only 17% were more concerned about rejection than immunosuppression complications. Among parents of children on immunosuppression monotherapy, 29% still worried more about immunosuppression complications than rejection, 48% expressed equal concern for both. Time since LT (0-4 vs. >4 years) was not associated with concern level for rejection or immunosuppression complications. Caregivers were significantly more certain that their child's immunosuppression regimen was correct to prevent rejection than to mitigate complications (p <.005). Conclusion: Caregivers of children with LTs reported higher levels of concern and uncertainty about immunosuppression complications than rejection risk. Understanding parent and patient perspectives on IS, and incorporating them into immunosuppression counseling and decision-making, is critical to achieving truly “ideal” long-term outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14931
JournalClinical Transplantation
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Keywords

  • immunosuppression
  • infection
  • parents’ perspective
  • pediatric liver transplant
  • rejection
  • renal disease

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