Psychosocial factors in non-adherence to cancer therapy
Gjerde, Jill Marissa
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A burgeoning set of studies have examined the psychosocial factors associated with adherence to medical regimens. Yet, treatment breaks from cancer therapy that may hinder treatment progression and exacerbate side-effects have been less empirically studied as a form of non-adherence. This study examined the relationship between psychosocial factors related to adherence and treatment breaks during cancer therapy. In this cross-sectional study, 144 individuals undergoing or who recently underwent treatment for cancer participated in which they completed a questionnaire that assessed psychosocial factors related to adherence, as well as the presence of treatment breaks from cancer therapy. The results showed that symptoms of depression, treatment-related severity and management of side effects, and poor health provider - patient communication presented as all independently significantly related to non-adherence. Further, the results revealed that type of cancer was associated with adherence status. Our model of predictors of adherence status was not statistically significant; however, one predictor (perceived stress) made unique statistical contributions to the model. The implications of these findings and future directions are discussed.