In 2017, I received funding via the American Society of Transplantation/Transplant Immunology Research Network/Wood MacMillan Charitable Fund Allied Health Science Research Grant. Kidney transplant recipients have to take many different medications for life to keep the kidney transplant working. When kidney transplant recipients leave the hospital after their transplant, they can be taking anywhere from 11-14 medications!
Not understanding how to take these medications can cause lots of problems with the kidney transplant, and can sometimes cause the person to lose the kidney transplant. We wanted to look at health literacy (the ability to read, understand and act upon health information) and cognitive function (brain skills needed to complete or perform simple to complex tasks) in our kidney transplant recipients during the first 2 months after transplant. We also wanted to have a better idea of how well kidney transplant recipients understood the education they got about their medications to prevent rejection (the body’s immune system not accepting the kidney transplant) and medications to fight infection. We were then able to identify and help kidney transplant recipients from all different backgrounds learn more about their medications when they needed help. This work would not have been possible without funding from the American Society of Transplantation, and the kidney transplant recipients who were willing to take part in this study.
Jennifer Trofe-Clark, Pharm D., FAST, FCCP, BCPS
Clinical Kidney Transplant Pharmacist
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
2017 Grant Recipient
My research focuses on the unrecognized burden of patient travel. Lung transplant patients travel varying distances to get from home to their transplant center, which sometimes is hundreds of miles. This involves travel for the transplant evaluation, checkups while on the waitlist, travel for the actual transplant, and travel for the many years of post-transplant appointments. We are learning what impact this constant travel has on patients, their transplant, and medical outcomes. What we learn will help us find ways to ease the burden of travel and improve access to lung transplant, and can be applied to other types of organ transplants.
Wayne Tsuang, MD, MHS
2017 Grant Recipient