The Adherence SIG : Current work and future directions

The Adherence Special Interest Group’s mission is to advance research and clinical practice regarding adherence to pediatric medical treatment

By Wendy N. Gray, PhD, and Christina L. Duncan, PhD

The Adherence SIG was founded in 2010 to advance research and clinical practice surrounding adherence to pediatric medical treatment. Based on an initial survey completed by our membership, the SIG was organized around three committees: Assessment (led by Heather Yardley and Shanna Guilfoyle), Intervention (led by Kristin Riekert and Marisa Hilliard), and Dissemination (led by Emily Fredericks and Yelena Wu). While each committee has their own projects dedicated to their area of interest, all are committed to forwarding science and improving medical adherence in youth for the purpose of improving health outcomes, psychosocial adjustment and coping, and family functioning.

Ongoing Projects

The Adherence SIG’s committee members are hard at work compiling cutting-edge resources on adherence assessment and intervention that we intend to make available on the SPP website. Our semi-annual research report, designed to increase awareness of newly published research on adherence in pediatric chronic illness, has been well received and will continue to be a regular feature of the SIG. Research findings by our dissemination committee highlighting current practices for medical regimen adherence assessment and intervention within our field were presented at the 2012 Midwest Pediatric Psychology conference and a summary of these data was recently distributed via the SPP listserv (for duplicates, please contact Yelena Wu.)

APA Convention Symposium

At the 2012 APA Convention in Orlando, Fla. on August 4, we will host a symposium entitled, “Current Issues and Future Directions in Adherence to Regimens for Pediatric Chronic Illness.” Congruent with our SIG’s committee structure, this symposium will cover adherence assessment, empirically validated interventions for improving adherence, and ways that effective interventions can be disseminated. Symposium discussant and SPP President-elect, Michael Rapoff, will conclude the symposium with a discussion on the role of e-health technology in enhancing both research and clinical practice in adherence. We hope that you will join us for this informative and thought-provoking session.

Future Directions

Thirty members participated in a lively discussion on the SIG’s progress to date and goals for the upcoming year at the 2012 Midwest Pediatric Psychology Conference. Facilitating communication and opportunities for research collaboration among SIG members was identified as an important goal. Members agreed to adapt our semi-annual research report to highlight ongoing studies related to adherence in addition to recently published work and upcoming conference programming. Ideas to enhance student involvement and programming and the possibility of hosting a future symposium on challenging clinical cases in adherence also were discussed.

As a SIG, we will strive to meet these goals and continue to advance our knowledge of adherence in pediatric chronic illness. We welcome any SPP members interested in adherence to join our SIG by contacting SIG co-chairs Christina Duncan and Wendy Gray. We look forward to seeing you at a future SIG event.