Impact of tailored patient education on adherence of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia to tyrosine kinase inhibitors: a randomized multicentre intervention study

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of tailored patient education on adherence to tyrosine kinase inhibitor medication among patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia.


Management of chronic myeloid leukaemia has changed dramatically during the last decade. While medication adherence is crucial to clinical response, little is known about how to improve patients' adherence.


Randomized multicentre intervention study.


The study was conducted between June 2012–August 2014. Eighty-six patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia who had been on tyrosine kinase inhibitor medication for at least six months from eight hospitals were randomized into intervention and control groups. Intervention combined nurse-conducted medication counselling, an information booklet, video and website and text message reminders. Patients were interviewed to assess medication adherence using Morisky's 8-Item Medication Adherence Scale at baseline and nine months.


Medication adherence improved with the adherence aids used. At nine months, 51% of patients were highly adherent in the intervention group, compared with 21% in the control group. Adherence improved for a higher proportion of patients in the intervention group than the control group (49% vs. 18%). Morisky's score decreased in almost half of control group cases. Patients were most satisfied with face-to-face counselling (86%) and the information booklet (83%) and least satisfied with text messages (9%).


Tailored patient education improved the medication adherence of patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia. Without this, adherence behaviour tended to decline. Personal communication with a nurse proved to be an essential part of adherence support and should not be ignored.

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