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Adherence and Coping Strategies in Outpatients With Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Receiving Oral Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors

Jochen Hefner
Eva-Johanna Csef
Volker Kunzmann
ONF 2017, 44(6), E232-E240 DOI: 10.1188/17.ONF.E232-E240

Purpose/Objectives: To assess adherence and coping strategies in outpatients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) on oral tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs).


Design: Prospective, descriptive.


Setting: An interdisciplinary oncology outpatient clinic in Germany.


Sample: 35 outpatients with CML on oral TKIs.


Methods: Adherence and coping strategies were assessed with questionnaires. Clinical data were extracted from medical charts.


Main Research Variables: Adherence rates, main coping strategies, and frequency and contents of single coping strategies.


Findings: 18 patients showed adherence according to the applied screening instrument. Main coping strategies were spirituality and search for meaning. The two single items most frequently specified were adhering to medical instructions and trusting in the medical personnel involved.


Conclusions: The low adherence rate of 51% most likely resulted from using the Basel Assessment of Adherence Scale as the questionnaire of choice. The relevance of spirituality and search for meaning as main coping strategies has not been shown previously in outpatients with CML. Most patients wish to obey medical instructions accurately and put trust in their oncologists; this introduces a resource that should gain relevance considering the increasing number of oral anticancer drugs.


Implications for Nursing: Nurses are encouraged to routinely assess adherence and spiritual needs in outpatients with CML. Spirituality and search for meaning represent pivotal coping strategies in this group, which has an excellent prognosis. Oncology nurses may help provide tailored support, thereby ameliorating care for these patients.

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