- •Long-term adherence is a challenge for people prescribed with adjuvant endocrine therapy.
- •The FOR-AD study helps understand the benefits and disadvantages of this treatment for patients, but also for HCP.
- •This study highlights the importance of the patient/HCP relationship in adhering to adjuvant ET.
- •Participants suggest the role of a nurse navigator to improve the care process and facilitate the patient/HCP relationship.
Adjuvant endocrine therapy (ET) for 5–10 years is the backbone of the therapeutic strategy in patients with hormone receptor positive (HR+) early breast cancer (BC). However, long-term adherence to adjuvant ET represents a major challenge for most patients. According to prior studies, side effects of adjuvant ET are an important reason for poor adherence. In contrast, better communication and relational bond between patients and healthcare providers (HCPs) may improve adherence. The FOR-AD (Focus on non-adherence) study aimed at better understanding the representation of adjuvant ET by patients and their HCPs, in order to improve the care process.
Three focus groups of premenopausal women (receiving adjuvant ET for variable amount of time) and two focus groups of HCPs (including oncologists, pharmacists, and nurses) were conducted, each including around ten participants. Thematic analyses using a general inductive approach were constructed to report participants’ representations.
Two main themes emerged across groups, and appeared of major importance.
Representations on adjuvant ET were often homogenous within each group, but differed between patients and their HCPs. The relationship between both groups was considerably discussed, particularly its importance in facilitating adherence to adjuvant ET. Suggestions on improving the care process were also given, such as systematically including psychologists in follow-up care paths and having a nurse navigator follow patients under treatment with adjuvant ET.
The present qualitative exploration may help buildi future tailored interventions to improve adherence to adjuvant ET, in particular regarding the role of nurse navigators.
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Published online: December 26, 2022
Accepted: December 14, 2022
Received in revised form: December 6, 2022
Received: June 10, 2022
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