Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 27, Issue 10, pp 3799–3804 | Cite as

Adherence and quality of life in women with breast cancer being treated with oral hormone therapy

  • Rebeca Stahlschmidt
  • Amanda Canato Ferracini
  • Cinthia Madeira de SouzaEmail author
  • Luana Moreira de Medeiros
  • Cassia Raquel Teatin Juliato
  • Priscila Gava Mazzola
Original Article



To evaluate adherence to oral hormone therapy (HT) and which factors impact in incomplete adherence and quality of life.


This was a cross-sectional study. Setting: Women’s Hospital Prof. Dr. José Aristodemo Pinotti. Participants: women with breast cancer under treatment with oral HT. Main outcome measures: interview and performed an adherence questionnaire (Morisky–Green) and two questionnaires of quality of life (EORTC-QLQ30/BR23). The interviews were done once in a 5-month period.


Fifty-eight women were interviewed: 42 under treatment with tamoxifen (TX) and 16 under treatment with aromatase inhibitor (AI). Twenty-six women (44%) showed high adherence to the treatment, 31 (54%) medium adherence, and 1 (2%) low adherence. Statistical analysis showed a relation between incomplete adherence and systemic therapy side effects as well as higher stages of disease, with no difference between the two drugs. When treatments were compared, this study showed treatment with AI presented less breast symptoms and better role functioning. Quality of life score was high, compared to the reference value.


A low percentage of women with breast cancer were highly adherent to HT treatment. Low/medium adherence was associated with higher stages of disease and systemic side effects. Quality of life had high scores, with better role function and less breast symptoms in women being treated with an AI.


Adherence Tamoxifen Aromatase inhibitor Quality of life Breast cancer 



The authors would like to acknowledge the team CAISM’s pharmacy and to the research group in Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Care of UNICAMP.


This work was supported by the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES) (Grant Number: 130466/2016-6).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical standards

This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Medical Sciences (CAAE: 54977116.0.0000.5404).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebeca Stahlschmidt
    • 1
  • Amanda Canato Ferracini
    • 1
  • Cinthia Madeira de Souza
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luana Moreira de Medeiros
    • 2
  • Cassia Raquel Teatin Juliato
    • 1
  • Priscila Gava Mazzola
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Medical SciencesUniversity of Campinas (Unicamp)CampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of Campinas (Unicamp)CampinasBrazil

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