Understanding and Improving Treatment Non-Adherence in Paediatric Growth Hormone Deficiency
by Selina Graham
Clinical Practice & Medication Use Research Group
Institute of Pharmaceutical Science
King’s College London
Our team here at King’s College London are very keen to further understand the complex issue of treatment non-adherence in paediatric Growth Hormone Deficiency.
The primary aim of recombinant growth hormone treatment during childhood and adolescence is to accelerate linear growth and return the child to the normal growth curve in order for them to attain a ‘normal’ or ‘near-normal’ final adult height. Despite the benefits of growth hormone treatment on long-term health outcomes, evidence has shown that many children with Growth Hormone Deficiency still in fact, fail to achieve their target genetic adult height. This has been largely attributed to what is termed ‘treatment non-adherence’. As growth hormone is administered via a daily subcutaneous injection, treatment non-adherence can take many forms, from taking a smaller dose than prescribed, missing an occasional dose, to taking few or no doses at all.
To develop our understanding, we wish to gain a better insight into the views and experiences of parents/caregivers with regards to their child’s condition and treatment, via two studies which form part of a wider PhD project. We are interested in involving parents/caregivers of children 12 years of age and under, who have been diagnosed with Growth Hormone Deficiency and have been prescribed growth hormone treatment. Parents/Caregivers of patients are eligible if they are responsible for either administering or supervising their child’s growth hormone injection on a daily basis.
All eligible parents/guardians have the option to participate in either the first or second study independently, or to participate in both studies. Taking part in the first study will involve filling out a 10-15 minute questionnaire via a URL address link sent by the King’s College London research team. If preferred, a paper copy with a self-addressed envelope can be posted instead. The second study involves taking part in a 30-40 minute interview, which can be completed either via telephone or face-to-face, at your earliest convenience.
The information collected from both studies will enable us to develop new ways of supporting the use of prescribed growth hormone treatment within endocrine clinical practice. Our findings will further help health care professionals to better support patients with growth hormone deficiencies and their families to get the best results from their prescribed treatment and self-manage their long-term condition effectively.