King's College London

Research portal

Non-adherence to tamoxifen in breast cancer survivors: A 12 month longitudinal analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)888-899
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number10
Early online date1 Oct 2019
Accepted/In press31 May 2019
E-pub ahead of print1 Oct 2019


King's Authors


OBJECTIVE: Previous research has shown that up to 50% of breast cancer survivors prescribed tamoxifen do not take it as recommended, which is associated with increased risk of recurrence and mortality. Little research has attempted to identify modifiable psychosocial factors associated with tamoxifen nonadherence. This study aimed to examine how tamoxifen adherence rates change over a year and to identify modifiable predictors of nonadherence. METHOD: Three hundred and forty-five breast cancer survivors who were in their first year of tamoxifen prescription were sent questionnaires at 4 points over a 12-month period. Questionnaires assessed demographic and clinical factors, side effects, beliefs about the illness and medication, social support, distress and tamoxifen adherence. Adherence was assessed using the Medication Adherence Rating Scale. Latent Growth Modeling was used to identify predictors of tamoxifen nonadherence. RESULTS: Reported rates of nonadherence increased over time (37-48%). Several demographic, clinical, and psychosocial variables were associated with nonadherence. Women who were nonadherent were more likely to be from a minority ethnic group, to have more negative medication beliefs and to have lower confidence in their ability to take tamoxifen. CONCLUSIONS: These demographic and clinical variables can be used to identify women at higher risk of nonadherence. The modifiable psychosocial variables can be used as the basis for psychological interventions to improve adherence in this population. Interventions should focus on both intentional and unintentional nonadherence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454