Predicting Adherence to Aromatase Inhibitor Therapy among Breast Cancer Survivors: An Application of the Protection Motivation Theory

Breast Cancer (Auckl). 2017 Mar 2:11:1178223417694520. doi: 10.1177/1178223417694520. eCollection 2017.


The purpose of this observational study was to determine if the Protection Motivation Theory could predict and explain adherence to aromatase inhibitor (AI) therapy among breast cancer survivors. Purposive sampling was used to identify 288 survivors who had been prescribed AI therapy. A valid and reliable survey was mailed to survivors. A total of 145 survivors completed the survey. The Morisky scale was used to measure adherence to AI. The survivors reported a mean score of 6.84 (±0.66) on the scale. Nearly 4 in 10 survivors (38%) were non-adherent. Adherence differed by age, marital status, insurance status, income, and presence of co-morbid conditions. Self-efficacy (r=0.485), protection motivation (r=0.310), and Response Efficacy (r=0.206) were positively and significantly correlated with adherence. Response Cost (r=-0.235) was negatively correlated with adherence. The coping appraisal constructs were statistically significant predictors medication adherence (β=0.437) with self-efficacy being the strongest significant predictor of adherence (β = 0.429).

Keywords: Aromatase Inhibitors; Breast Cancer; Medication Adherence; Survivorship.