Educating Organ Transplant Patients on Immunosuppressants

By Cathy Wong, 11/F


Educating patients about immunosuppressants is crucial for the success of organ transplants. Healthcare professionals and patients should work together to promote medication adherence.In 2016, surveys on drug compliance in 529 post-organ transplant patients in Hong Kong showed that 52%of the interviewees followed instructions on how to take oral immunosuppressants in the last half year before the survey. That means education would be required to help patient understand the importance on taking immunosuppressants properly would decrease organ rejection rate. Also, 55% wanted to receive more information on immunosuppressants from healthcare professionals.

Purpose and Problem Statement

In HKSH, ¼ of Prograf and Cellcept, are given on ward 11/F. Various factors including wide variety of immunosuppressant medications, nurses new to the profession and Lack of renal specialty knowledge can have a negative effect on the confidence in nurses to educate post-renal transplant patients on immunosuppressant medications. Therefore, the purposes of my EBP project are to increase nursing staff’s knowledge on the use of oral immunosuppressants and increase nursing staff’s confidence in educating patients.

Implementation Plan

Pre-educational survey and knowledge tests were given to all nursing staff in ward 11/F. After the pre-educational survey, 18 nurses with ≤5 years of experience were chosen and the educational session was implemented. Post-educational knowledge test using the same test was given right after the session. After 1-week, post-educational surveys were given using the same survey.


Before the educational session, few of the 18 nurses with ≤5 years of experience (20-40%) agreed that they had knowledge and confidence to educate patients on immunosuppressant medications. 94% of nurses were interested in learning more about immunosuppressant medications.

After the education, nurses’ self-rated knowledge, confidence levels, and average scores of post-knowledge test increased (from 20-40% to 100%)

Recommendations and Next Steps  

Educational programs can improve nurses’ knowledge about oral immunosuppressant medications. Increasing knowledge can also improve nurses’ confidence in educating patients about immunosuppressant medications. Therefore, the next steps of my EBP are to continue empowering post-renal transplant patients to manage their immunosuppressant medications and daily activities. My ultimate goal is to make education part of routine practice.