Factors associated with compliance to adjuvant hormone therapy in Black and White women with breast cancer

Springerplus. 2013 Jul 30:2:356. doi: 10.1186/2193-1801-2-356. eCollection 2013.


Background: Studies have demonstrated lower rates of breast cancer survival for Black versus White women. Factors implicated include later stages at diagnosis, differences in tumor biology, and lower compliance rates to adjuvant hormone therapy (AHT) among Black women with hormone sensitive breast cancer. We examined factors associated with compliance to AHT among Black and White women with invasive breast cancer.

Methods: Women with estrogen receptor positive (ER+), non-metastatic breast cancer were identified by the cancer registry at the University of Chicago Hospital and asked to complete a mail-in survey. Compliance was defined by self-reported adherence to AHT ≥80% at the time of the survey plus medical record verification of persistence (completion of 5 years of AHT). Logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with compliance to AHT.

Results: 197 (135 White and 62 Black) women were included in the analysis. 97.4% of patients reported adherence to therapy. 87.4% were found to be persistent to therapy. Overall compliance was 87.7% with no statistically significant racial difference seen (87.9% in White and 87.0% in Black, P = 0.87). For both Black and White women, compliance was strongly associated with both perceived importance of AHT (OR =2.1, 95% CI:1.21-3.68,P = 0.009) and the value placed on their doctor's opinion about the importance of AHT (OR = 4.80, 95% CI: 2.03-11.4, P < 0.001).

Conclusions: In our cohort of Black and White women, perceived importance of AHT and the degree to which they valued their doctor's opinion correlated with overall compliance. This suggests that Black and White women consider similar factors in their decision to take AHT.

Keywords: Adjuvant hormone therapy; Breast cancer; Healthcare disparities; Medication compliance.