Objectives: The advent of oral therapies has dramatically changed the landscape of cancer therapy. Yet the degree to which patients actually take the prescribed agents as ordered remains unknown. This article outlines the challenges that oral chemotherapy agents present to both patients and providers and suggests interventions for promoting adherence.
Data sources: Published articles and web resources.
Conclusion: Barriers and facilitators to medication adherence are reviewed and interventions to promote medication adherence are presented. Strategies that include patient education and symptom management can promote adherence.
Implications for nursing practice: Maximizing adherence to oral chemotherapy agents can have many positive outcomes, but most important is improvement in overall survival and life expectancy. Other outcomes include improved safety and quality of life. Patients risk improper dosing and an increase in disease recurrence when there is nonadherence with medications. Correct dosing, education, and symptom management are all critical to ensuring adherence. Nursing interventions that incorporate education, early symptom identification, and reminder prompts can improve outcomes.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.