Women with early-stage breast cancer who perceive greater barriers to treatment with aromatase inhibitors (AIs) may be less likely to adhere to regimens, according to a study published in Cancer.1

Researchers examined 437 postmenopausal women with early-stage, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer who were receiving treatment with an AI at the time of the study.

Patients completed the 3-factor Health Beliefs and Medication Adherence in Breast Cancer scale and questionnaires, and adherence data was gathered from medical charts.

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Using logistic regression analyses, the researchers found that 93 patients (21.3%) were non-adherent. Patients who perceived greater barriers to their treatment were more likely to demonstrate AI non-adherence behaviors by the end of their treatment period, in contrast with those who reported fewer barriers.

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Perceived sustainability to cancer recurrence and perceived benefits of AIs, however, did not predict adherence to AI. Minority patients had lower perceived sustainability to breast cancer recurrence, as well as higher perceived barriers to treatment with AIs.


  1. Brier MJ, Chmambless DL, Gross R, et al. Perceived barriers to treatment predict adherence to aromatase inhibitors among breast cancer survivors. Cancer. 2016 Aug 26. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30318 [Epub ahead of print]