Prostate cancer patients' report on communication about endocrine therapy and its association with adherence

Endocrine therapy is a mainstay of prostate cancer therapy. Given that few data exist on patient physician communication with regard to this field of therapy and adherence, we conducted a survey of patient members of a German support organization.

We developed a structured questionnaire that was tested in a pilot version and then programmed as an online questionnaire.

The questionnaire was completed by 694 patients. While 58 % of participants rated the information they received as comprehensive, 42 % did not. Fifty-one percentage stated that they were informed of side effects in detail, and 35 % received information on supportive treatments available in the event of side effects. Patients with higher education more often reported receiving information on side effects (p = 0. 036) as well as alternatives for treatment (p = 0. 001). Only 13 % stated that their questions were answered in detail, with 43 % receiving no answers or only non-detailed answers. Additional information was sought by 82 %, mostly from the Internet (67 %) and patient support groups (66 %). Seventy-six percentage experienced side effects that imposed limitations on their daily activities. Of those patients with side effects, 60 % reported that their physicians did not react to their complaints. There is a significant association between side effects in general and depression in particular and non-adherence (p < 0. 01 and p = 0. 002, respectively). In contrast, better information on side effects is associated with better adherence (p < 0001).

In order to improve adherence, detailed information on side effects and comprehensive supportive care is most important. Physicians should not rely on written information but should rather mainly engage in direct communication.

Journal of cancer research and clinical oncology. 2015 Oct 22 [Epub ahead of print]

B Jung, C Stoll, G Feick, F J Prott, J Zell, I Rudolph, J Huebner

Working Group Integrative Oncology, Dr. Senckenberg Chronomedical Institute, J. W. Goethe University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590, Frankfurt, Germany. , Clinic Herzoghoehe Bayreuth, Kulmbacherstraße 103, 95445, Bayreuth, Germany. , Bundesverband Prostatakrebs Selbsthilfe e. v. , Haus der Krebsselbsthilfe, Thomas-Mann-Str. 40, 53111, Bonn, Germany. , RNS Praxisgemeinschaft GbR, Beethovenstraße 20, 65189, Wiesbaden, Germany. , Interaktiv GmbH, Max-Planck-Straße 6-8, 50858, Cologne, Germany. , German Cancer Society, Kuno-Fischer-Str 8, 14057, Berlin, Germany. , Working Group Integrative Oncology, Dr. Senckenberg Chronomedical Institute, J. W. Goethe University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590, Frankfurt, Germany. 



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