Authors: Valerie O’Loughlin, Yehui Zhu, Susan M. Sereika, Amanda Gentry, Catherine M. Bender Faculty Mentor: Yehui Zhu and Catherine M. Bender, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, 3500 Victoria St, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Background: While Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs) therapy has been successful in the treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor positive breast cancer, approximately 25% of AI users were reported to prematurely discontinue treatment due to musculoskeletal symptoms. However, the relationship between musculoskeletal symptoms and AI therapy adherence rates have not been well-documented. In this secondary analysis, we investigated the relationship between musculoskeletal symptoms and medication adherence to AI therapy in postmenopausal women with early stage breast cancer. Method: The Musculoskeletal Subscale of the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial (BCPT) Symptom Checklist was used to measure the degree of bother associated with musculoskeletal symptoms before AI therapy initiation, and at 6 and 12 months after initiation. Participants rated 4 subscale items (general aches and pains, joint pain, muscle stiffness, and numbness and tingling) on a scale from 0 (not at all) to 4 (extremely). The Medication Event Monitoring System cap with a microprocessor was used to document the daily adherence to AI therapy. The percentage of the number of days with the correctly prescribed dose intake were calculated for the first and second 180 days after initiation of AI therapy. Spearman’s rank correlation was computed to examine the relationship between musculoskeletal symptoms before AI therapy initiation and AI adherence rates over the first and second 180 days after AI therapy initiation. Results: Participants (N=196) were 62 years of age on average, mostly white (97.4%), and had stage I breast cancer (80.1%). A weak significant negative correlation was found between the first 180 days of AI therapy adherence and the presence of musculoskeletal symptoms before the AI therapy initiation (r=-0.199, p=0.007). Conclusion: Postmenopausal women with breast cancer who experience greater bother with musculoskeletal symptoms prior to initiation of AI therapy may have poor adherence to AI therapy.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Valerie O'Loughlin

Institution: University of Pittsburgh

Type: Oral

Subject: Nursing

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Oral 7
Date/Time: Fri 1:50pm-2:10pm
Location: Old North 211
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