The incidence of AML is increasing, in part due to an aging population. Since 2017, eight novel agents have been introduced, 6 of which are oral: midostaurin, enasidenib, ivosidenib, gilteritinib, glasdegib, and venetoclax. With an increase in oral medications (OMs), patients face associated side effects that accompany OMs, which often decreases adherence. We aimed to identify and summarize adherence to OMs in this population.
Our mixed method design used focus groups (FG) and patient surveys. After IRB approval, 11 patients and 4 caregivers participated in 4 FGs. Themes from the FGs were used to develop a 37-item OMs adherence needs assessment. Participants were recruited and consented at three cancer centers to complete surveys (online, at the clinic, hospital, or from home).
A total of 100 patients completed OMs survey. The number of pills to be taken was the most frequent and troublesome challenge. The most frequently reported interventions that would improve patient adherence were smaller pills, easier packaging, and scheduling assistance. Nearly 33% of patients indicated they skip OMs dose altogether when they forget to take it. Younger patients (< 65 years) were more accepting of taking oral compared with intravenous medications (p = .03).
This study represents the first assessment of OMs adherence in adults with AML. Findings provide the basis for further exploration of interventions to enhance and increase adherence to OMs regimens.