Adherence to oral antibiotic therapy in patients with bone and joint infection: A pilot study


The management of bone and joint infections (BJI) is complex and requires prolonged antimicrobial therapy. Few data exist on adherence to anti-infectious treatment other than HIV, and none on BJI, even though compliance is considered as a major determinant of clinical outcome. This work aimed at evaluating adherence to oral antimicrobial treatment in patients with BJI.

Patients and methods:

This is a prospective observational blinded pilot study evaluating adherence by a 6-item questionnaire at 6 weeks (W6) and 3 months (M3) post-surgery. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with high, moderate and poor adherence at W6. Secondary endpoints included change in adherence between W6 and M3, and the exploration of potential variables influencing adherence.


Analysis was performed on 65 questionnaires obtained from 43 patients including 35 with device-associated BJI. At W6, 11 out of 34 patients were highly adherent to oral antibiotic therapy, 22 moderately adherent and 1 poorly adherent. There was no significant change in adherence to antibiotic therapy between W6 and M3. The only variable significantly associated with the level of adherence at W6 and M3 was the number of daily doses of antibiotic (P=0.04 and 0.02 at W6 and M3, respectively).


This study provided a snapshot of patients' adherence in BJI. Adherence to antibiotic therapy appeared to be stable up to 3 months and a higher number of daily doses of antibiotic was associated with poorer adherence. These observations need to be confirmed in future large-scale studies using electronic pill monitoring systems.
international free access