Background: In patients with asthma, medication adherence is a voluntary behavior that can be affected by numerous factors. Depression is an important co-morbidity in adolescents with asthma that may significantly impact their controller medication adherence and other asthma-related outcomes. The modifying effect of depressive symptoms on an asthma intervention's ability to improve asthma controller medication adherence among urban adolescents with asthma has not yet been reported.Objective: To assess self-reported symptoms of depression as an effect modifier of the relationship between randomization group and controller medication adherence at 6-month follow-up.Methods: These analyses use data from a randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted in Detroit high schools to evaluate a tailored asthma management program. The intervention included referrals to school or community resources for students reporting symptoms of depression and other issues. "Elevated depressive symptoms" was defined as a positive answer to ≥ 5 of 7 questions from a validated tool included on the baseline questionnaire. Self-reported adherence to controller medication was collected at intervention onset (session 1) and at 6-month follow up. Analyses were restricted to students with report of a controller medication at baseline. Logistic regression was used to assess elevated depressive symptoms as an effect modifier of the relationship between randomization group and 6-month adherence.Results: Of the 422 students enrolled in the RCT, a controller medication was reported at intervention onset by n = 123 adolescents (29%). Analyzing this group, we observed an interaction between elevated depressive symptoms and adherence (p = 0.073). Stratified analysis showed better adherence in treatment group adolescents meeting criteria for elevated depressive symptoms at baseline as compared to the control group (adjusted Odds Ratio [aOR] = 9.50; p = 0.024). For adolescents without elevated depressive symptoms at baseline, differences in adherence by group assignment did not reach statistical significance (aOR 1.40, p = 0.49).Conclusions: In this sample of students reporting controller medications at baseline, report of elevated depressive symptoms at baseline and randomization to the intervention group was associated with significantly better adherence at 6-month follow up when compared to that of a control group. Larger studies are needed to evaluate the impact of depression on the relationship between adherence and asthma intervention effectiveness.
- Medication adherence
- Randomized controlled trial
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine