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Health Psychol. 1987;6(3):183-207.

Path model of multidimensional compliance with cancer therapy.


Patients newly diagnosed with hematologic malignancies were followed for a 6-month treatment period to assess compliance with three regimen requirements for cancer therapy: anti-neoplastic medication self-administered intermittently, supportive medication self-administered daily, and monthly clinic appointments. The effect on compliance of three intervention "packages" (some combination of education, shaping of pill-taking behavior, and home restructuring) and the extent that patient satisfaction, knowledge, and uncertainty about illness-related events mediated the effects of the interventions were also examined. Blood levels of the drugs and self-report measures indicated that compliance with daily pill taking was higher for each intervention group compared to a control group. Similar results were obtained for compliance with clinic appointments. No improvement in intermittent self-medication was found. Although each intervention package increased patient knowledge and satisfaction, path analyses demonstrated that knowledge did not affect any aspect of compliance, whereas satisfaction was associated with increased appointment keeping only. Daily pill taking was influenced directly by the behavioral components of the interventions. Uncertainty did not influence compliance but was associated with depression, which was negatively correlated with intermittent self-medication.

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