Treatment adherence with the easypod™ growth hormone electronic auto-injector and patient acceptance: survey results from 824 children and their parents
1 Paediatric Department, University of Pavia, IRCCS San Matteo Foundation, Pavia, Italy
2 25 rue Boudet, Bordeaux, France
3 Department of Women's and Children's Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
4 Merck Serono S.A. - Geneva, Switzerland, an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
BMC Endocrine Disorders 2011, 11:4 doi:10.1186/1472-6823-11-4Published: 4 February 2011
Accurately monitoring adherence to treatment with recombinant human growth hormone (r-hGH) enables appropriate intervention in cases of poor adherence. The electronic r-hGH auto-injector, easypod™, automatically records the patient's adherence to treatment. This study evaluated adherence to treatment of children who started using the auto-injector and assessed opinions about the device.
A multicentre, multinational, observational 3-month survey in which children received r-hGH as part of their normal care. Physicians reviewed the recorded dose history and children (with or without parental assistance) completed a questionnaire-based survey. Children missing ≤2 injections per month (92% of injections given) were considered adherent to treatment. Adherence was compared between GH treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced children.
Of 834 recruited participants, 824 were evaluated. The median (range) age was 11 (1-18) years. From the recorded dose history, 87.5% of children were adherent to treatment over the 3-month period. Recorded adherence was higher in treatment-naïve (89.7%, n = 445/496) than in treatment-experienced children (81.7%, n = 152/186) [Fisher's exact test FI(X) = 7.577; p = 0.0062]. According to self-reported data, 90.2% (607/673) of children were adherent over 3 months; 51.5% (421/817) missed ≥1 injection over this period (mainly due to forgetfulness). Concordance between reported and recorded adherence was 84.3%, with a trend towards self-reported adherence being higher than recorded adherence. Most children liked the auto-injector: over 80% gave the top two responses from five options for ease of use (720/779), speed (684/805) and comfort (716/804). Although 38.5% (300/780) of children reported pain on injection, over half of children (210/363) considered the pain to be less or much less than expected. Given the choice, 91.8% (732/797) of children/parents would continue using the device.
easypod™ provides an accurate method of monitoring adherence to treatment with r-hGH. In children who received treatment with r-hGH using easypod™, short-term adherence is good, and significantly higher in treatment-naïve children compared with experienced children. Children/parents rate the device highly. The high level of acceptability of the device is reflected by a desire to continue using it by over 90% of the children in the survey.