Erin Zita, Amanda Gentry, Hongjin Li, Susan Sereika, Yehui Zhu, Catherine Bender, School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, 3500 Victoria Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Background: Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in women. Endocrine therapy with aromatase inhibitors (AI) are an effective treatment for postmenopausal women with breast cancer. However, there are symptoms associated with this treatment that may influence women’s ability to adhere to this therapy. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms experienced by women with breast cancer. The goal of this study is to examine the relationship between fatigue and adherence to AI therapy in postmenopausal women with breast cancer. Methods: Subjects were postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer who received AI therapy (n = 229). Fatigue was measured at 2 time points: preinitiation of AI therapy and 6 months post-initiation of AI therapy using the Fatigue/Inertia subscale of the Profile of Mood States. Adherence was measured continuously using the Medication Event Monitoring System (MEMS Cap) and then summarized as the percentage of days adherent during a) over the first 6 months and b) the second 6 months of AI therapy. Spearman rank correlations were used to examine the relationship between fatigue and adherence. Results: On average, women were 61 years of age, with 15 years of education, married (70.3%), white (96.9%), and diagnosed with stage I breast cancer (67.4%). A small, but significant correlation between fatigue prior to the initiation to AI therapy and adherence over the first six months (r = -.185; p = .002) where greater fatigue was related to poorer adherence. Similarly, fatigue was negatively correlated with adherence at 6-months post initiation of therapy and adherence over the second 6 months of therapy (r = -.169; p = .013). Conclusion: Greater fatigue may be related to nonadherence to AI therapy. This finding could help clinicians provide better care by identifying women at risk for nonadherence to AI therapy.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Erin Zita

Institution: University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing

Type: Oral

Subject: Nursing

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Oral 9
Date/Time: Fri 4:00pm-4:20pm
Location: Old North 211
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