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J Pediatr Oncol Nurs. 2007 May-Jun;24(3):139-51.

Adolescent adherence to oral therapy for leukemia: a focus group study.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.


This secondary qualitative analysis of extant focus group data was performed to develop an understanding of suboptimal adherence to 6-mercaptopurine therapy in adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Six participants, aged 16 to 23 years at the time of data collection, were interviewed about their adherence to oral maintenance chemotherapy during their treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The primary aim of the study was to understand the role of adolescent development in adolescents' perception of adherence to therapy. The secondary aim was to understand how factors other than development, including the features of the disease such as its chronic nature and family involvement, can affect treatment adherence to 6-mercaptopurine. Four broad themes emerged as critical elements in adolescent adherence to oral maintenance therapy: a desire for normalcy, egocentrism, concrete thinking, and parental involvement. Incorporation of these themes into clinical practice with adolescents may help increase adherence and improve clinical outcomes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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