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Abstract

Adjuvant endocrine therapy (AET) has substantially improved the mortality rate among breast cancer survivors. Despite the proven efficacy, the non-adherence rate to therapy is still high. This study is aimed to examine women’s challenges related to AET adherence and management. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six Caucasian and six African American breast cancer survivors who were prescribed for AET. The transcripts of audio-taped interviews were qualitatively analyzed. Key themes were: 1) positive beliefs in AET, 2) uncertainty about long-term adherence, 3) experiences with side effects, 4) forgetting and remembering, 5) other concerns and information needs, 6) potential intervention format, and 7) culturally-coping among African American women. The findings provided insight into women’s experiences and beliefs and how these behaviors might influence AET adherence. Although most women in this study took AET as prescribed, many experienced a range of side effects and emotional distress, often without seeking support or help. New models of programs to promote adherence, support symptom management, and ultimately improve survival are critically needed. Developing culturally sensitive interventions for African American women is desirable.

First Page

104

Last Page

114