(HealthDay News) — Lowering medication costs can improve adherence to adjuvant endocrine therapy (ET) in breast cancer survivors, but other interventions intended to improve adherence produce mixed results, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Researchers conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to identify interventions to enhance adjuvant ET adherence among female breast cancer survivors.

The review included 33 studies encompassing 375,951 patients. The studies suggested that interventions educating patients about how to manage side effects generally failed to improve ET adherence.

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However, adherence was consistently improved with policy changes that lowered the cost of ET. Efficacy varied for medication reminders, communication, and psychological/coping strategies.

The meta-analysis included 25 studies encompassing 367,873 patients. Overall, the adherence interventions had significant effects relative to the various control conditions (odds ratio, 1.412; 95% CI, 1.183-1.682; P =.0001).

“Our bottom-line finding is that there are strategies that do work in supporting women to take these life-extending medications, and that we as a cancer care community need to do better,” study author Joanna Arch, PhD, of the University of Colorado Boulder, said in a statement.

One study author disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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