Optimizing Patient Management and Adherence for Children Receiving Growth Hormone.06 Feb 2018
Poor adherence with growth hormone (GH) therapy has been associated with worse clinical outcomes, which in children relates specifcally to their linear growth and loss of quality of life. The “360° GH in Europe” meeting, held in Lisbon, Portugal, in June 2016 and funded by Merck KGaA (Germany), examined many aspects of GH diseases. The three sessions, entitled “Short Stature Diagnosis and Referral,” “Optimizing Patient Management,” and “Managing Transition,” each benefted from three guest speaker presentations, followed by an open discussion and are reported as a manuscript, authored by the speakers. Reported here is a summary of the proceedings of the second session, which reviewed the determinants of GH therapy response, factors affecting GH therapy adherence and the development of innovative technologies to improve GH treatment in children. Response to GH therapy varies widely, particularly in regard to the underlying diagnosis, although there is little consensus on the defnition of a poor response. If the growth response is seen to be less than expected, the possible reasons should be discussed with patients and their parents, including compliance with the therapy regimen. Understanding and addressing the multiple factors that infuence adherence, in order to optimize GH therapy, requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Because therapy continues over many years, various healthcare professionals will be involved at different periods of the patient’s journey. The role of the injection device for GH therapy, frequent monitoring of response, and patient support are all important for maintaining adherence. New injection devices are incorporating electronic technologies for automated monitoring and recording of clinically relevant information on injections. Study results are indicating that such devices can at least maintain GH adherence; however, acceptance of novel devices needs to be assessed and there remains an on-going need for innovations.