Advanced Practice

Oral Anticancer Agents: An Intervention to Promote Medication Adherence and Symptom Management

Sandra L. Spoelstra

Alla Sikorskii

Atreyee Majumder

Peggy S. Burhenn

Monica Schueller

Barbara A. Given

advanced practice registered nurse, oral anticancer agent, patient education
CJON 2017, 21(2), 157-160. DOI: 10.1188/17.CJON.157-160

Symptom burden and poor adherence to oral anticancer agents remain significant clinical problems. This study examined feasibility, preliminary efficacy, and satisfaction with ADHERE, a nurse practitioner intervention that promotes symptom management and adherence among patients prescribed oral agents. The intervention group (which received one semistructured, face-to-face session followed by three weekly telephone sessions using motivational interviewing, brief cognitive-behavioral therapy, and a toolkit to promote self-management) had significantly lower symptom severity postintervention. Self-reported adherence was high and did not differ by group. Patients reported being highly satisfied with the ADHERE intervention.


  • No known standard of care exists for patients newly prescribed oral anticancer agents.
  • Many patients with cancer treated with oral anticancer agents have difficulty managing side effects of treatment, which may lead to difficulty with adherence to the medication regimen, or adverse events.
  • The intervention improved symptom severity compared to the control group.
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