8. Adherence to Leukemia Maintenance Therapy: A Comparative Study Among Children, Adolescents, and Adults.

Julien Mancini, Marie-Claude Simeoni, Nathalie Parola, Audrey Clement, Norbert Vey, Nicolas Sirvent, Gérard Michel and Pascal Auquier.

Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2012 Aug;29(5):428-39.


This study describes patient adherence to leukemia maintenance therapy and the factors associated with nonadherence, with a particular focus on the different age groups concerned. Sixty-four in-depth interviews were performed in three centers among 31 parents of children, 12 parents of adolescents, 12 adolescents, and 9 adult patients. Adherence was determined through a multimethod approach based on patient and/or parent responses to three self-administered questions and patient and/or parent interviews.

The results were compared with physician evaluation of adherence. Factors explaining nonadherence were investigated in the in-depth interviews and by statistical analysis of self-administered questionnaires. Intentional nonadherence occurred rarely (4/52 patients, 8%) following poor tolerance of the maintenance therapy. Despite a high motivation to follow the maintenance therapy, repeated forgetfulness (8/52, 15%) was not rare and rarely detected by physicians.

Nonadherence increased with age, but also existed among children. Outings, the administration of therapy at bedtime, the lack of monitoring, a low socioeconomic status, and the hepatic side effects of the treatment were also associated with nonadherence.

Declared nonadherence of leukemia maintenance therapy is not negligible and should be screened at follow-up consultations using three simple questions.

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