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Health belief about adjuvant endocrine therapy in premenopausal breast cancer survivors: a qualitative study

Authors Xu L, Wang A

Received 30 May 2019

Accepted for publication 28 August 2019

Published 9 September 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 1519—1525

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S217562

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Naifeng Liu


Lei Xu1, Aiping Wang2

1Department of Breast Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Nursing, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Aiping Wang
Department of Nursing, The First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, No. 155, Nanjing St. Heping District, Shenyang 110001, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 248 328 2827
Fax +86 248 328 2830
Email jianghaoran88@hotmail.com

Objective: The aim of this study is to describe the connotations of health beliefs about adjuvant endocrine therapy (AET) in premenopausal breast cancer survivors in Northeast China and to explore the reasons underlying bad behaviours and influential factors of AET adherence and persistence.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted using a qualitative description research method with 30 premenopausal breast cancer survivors who had undergone surgery and AET for more than half a year. The researcher collected and coded the interview transcripts and extracted the concepts and themes.
Results: Two main categories of themes regarding the health beliefs of survivors who were undergoing AET were formed in the conceptual framework: connotations and modifiable factors. Subcategories of the first category included perceptions of the survivors regarding the risks and effects of recurrence or metastasis of breast cancer; the methods, benefits and barriers of AET; behavioural clues; and self-efficacy. Subcategories of the second category included religious belief, disposition, matrimony and other demographic factors as well as traditional Chinese female characteristics, gender role and other socio-cultural factors.
Conclusion: Demographic, socio-cultural and other factors play an important role in the health beliefs of breast cancer survivors. Health beliefs such as related knowledge of AET, related cognition of recurrence or metastasis of breast cancer directly affect adherence to and persistence with AET. Therefore, implementing interventions with respect to health beliefs may enhance adherence to AET.

Keywords: adherence, adjuvant endocrine therapy, breast neoplasm, health belief


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