Factors Associated With Medication Beliefs in Patients With Cancer: An Integrative Review

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Abstract

PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION:

Medication beliefs are linked to medication adherence in cancer treatment. Oral cancer treatments are increasing, making patients responsible for self-managing medication at home.

LITERATURE SEARCH:

A literature search was performed using CINAHL®, PubMed, and PsycINFO. Included studies were published in English from 2000-2017 and examined medication beliefs among participants aged 18 years or older who were prescribed cancer medication.

DATA EVALUATION:

Articles were organized by study design, how medication beliefs were measured, and whether psychometric testing was evaluated. Articles were scored to indicate rigor of medication belief measurements. Themes of factors associated with medication beliefs were compiled.

SYNTHESIS:

The review represented several cancer and cancer medication types. Various methods were used to elicit medication beliefs. Medication beliefs influence decisions to initiate or continue cancer medications, and those beliefs are multifaceted. Nurses have a critical role in evaluating and supporting facilitative medication beliefs.

IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH:

Nurses can address medication beliefs and clarify treatment misconceptions. Understanding factors influencing medication beliefs can inform future interventions to improve adherence and symptom management.

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