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J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol. 2016 Mar;5(1):16-23. doi: 10.1089/jayao.2015.0051. Epub 2015 Dec 17.

Perceptions, Attributions, and Emotions Toward Endocrine Therapy in Young Women with Breast Cancer.

Author information

1
1 Harvard Medical School , Boston, Massachusetts.
2
2 Dana-Farber Cancer Institute , Boston, Massachusetts.
3
3 Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry/Biobehavioral Sciences and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California , Los Angeles, California.
4
4 The University of Auckland , Auckland, New Zealand .

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The aims of this study were to describe symptoms attributed to endocrine therapy (ET) and perceptions of ET in a sample of young women with breast cancer and to explore whether these factors are associated with adherence to ET.

METHODS:

An online questionnaire was completed by 106 young women taking ET for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. In addition to demographic and medical characteristics, the survey assessed symptom attribution, emotions, and perceptions related to ET. A supplemental survey measuring adherence to ET was completed by 82/106 women. Means, medians, and frequency distributions were calculated for continuous and categorical covariates, respectively. An exploratory analysis evaluated whether adherence was associated with patient characteristics and views.

RESULTS:

The mean age of respondents was 39 years (range 22-45 years). Two-thirds of women had stage 1 or 2 breast cancer. Women attributed an average of nine symptoms to ET; hot flashes, night sweats, and decreased libido were the most frequently attributed symptoms. Positive emotions toward ET were more common than negative emotions were, although only 48% of respondents believed that ET was essential. Women of higher financial status and those who reported more positive emotions toward ET reported greater adherence with ET. A significant difference in symptom attribution was not detected between less and more adherent respondents.

CONCLUSIONS:

Young women's views regarding ET may play an important role in determining adherence behavior. Given that young women have a higher risk of recurrence, some of which may be attributable to ET non-adherence, further work is needed to confirm these findings and determine whether interventions designed to modify young women's perceptions of ET could promote adherence.

KEYWORDS:

breast cancer; psychosocial; survivorship

PMID:
26812461
PMCID:
PMC4779285
[Available on 2017-03-01]
DOI:
10.1089/jayao.2015.0051
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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