iSchool Professor and Colleagues Receive a Pediatric Transplantation Journal Top Paper Award

iSchool professor Dr. Mia Liza Lustria, together with lead author Dr. Michael O. Killian from the College of Social Work, received the 2023 Pediatric Transplantation Journal Top Paper Award from the International Pediatric Transplant Association (IPTA). The award, which was announced during the 2023 IPTA Congress, recognizes their article, “Directly observed therapy to promote medication adherence in adolescent heart transplant recipients” as one of the best publications from 2021-2022. The IPTA Editorial Board chose the article due to its scientific merit and high relevance to pediatric medicine.

The article highlights the main findings of a 12-week pilot study of an mHealth application that supports direct observation therapy aimed at improving medication adherence among pediatric heart transplant patients. The research team found that the DOT app was very effective in decreasing medication non-adherence among adolescent heart transplant patients. The study also found that the app facilitated tracking and reporting of medication-related issues that required intervention by the healthcare team, and improved engagement of the patients in their own care.

Largely due to the success of the pilot study, Lustria and colleagues recently received a $1.67M Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to continue their work in this area. The grant will fund a larger randomized controlled trial of an improved version of the mobile video directly observed therapy intervention among adolescent patients in multiple pediatric heart transplant centers.

Other co-authors of the article include Stephanie Clifford, Gage L. Skivington, and Dipankar Gupta.

The IPTA aims to advance the science and practice of transplantation in children worldwide by providing the latest research related to the transplantation of tissues and solid organs in infants, children, and adolescents.