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Theone Paterson, PhD Candidate

Supervisors: Dr. Wendy J. Loken-Thornton and Dr. Jean R. Shapiro
Award: MSFHR - KFOC - KRESCENT Allied Health Doctoral Scholarship
Institution: Simon Fraser University
Year: 2011-2014

Theone Paterson holds a master’s degree from Simon Fraser University and is currently enrolled as a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology under the supervision of Dr. Wendy Loken Thorton and Dr. R. Jean Shapiro. Ms. Paterson studied the relationships between traditional cognitive measures, depressive symptoms and medication adherence in renal transplant patients during her master’s studies.

An important aspect of how well a transplant recipient functions in daily life is their ability to adhere to their medication schedule. Individuals who are not adherent to their anti-rejection medications are at increased risk of graft rejection and other negative outcomes. Research is needed to increase our understanding of why some renal transplant recipients do not adhere to their medication regime. Ms. Paterson’s research project will use statistical methods to determine how a person's ability to think, reason, and remember things (cognitive abilities); a person’s beliefs about their ability to adhere to their medications (self-efficacy); and a person’s reports of depressive symptoms are related to their ability to adhere to their medication regimen following renal transplantation. The results of this study will shed light on the potential of these cognitive abilities, self-efficacy beliefs, and depressive symptoms to predict how well someone will adhere to their medication regimen following transplant.

The findings will be important for many reasons, as increased understanding of drivers to medication adherence will provide vital information to physicians and clinical health practitioners who interact with renal transplant recipients on a daily basis, and this will in turn impact how medical professionals handle issues related to the treatment and management of their patients’ illness.