Women with early-stage breast cancer who have more perceived barriers to aromatase inhibitor (AI) treatment are less likely to adhere to their treatment regimens, according to the results of a study published in Cancer.

Using the three-factor Health Beliefs and Medication Adherence in Breast Cancer scale and questionnaire, researchers looked at adherence in 437 postmenopausal women with early-stage, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer who were being treated with AIs. They found that 21.3% were nonadherent to their treatment, and that women who perceived more barriers to their treatment were more likely to be nonadherent. Minority women were more likely to have higher perceived barriers to AIs.

However, the reverse did not predict adherence: perceived benefits of AI treatment did not affect women’s adherence to treatment.

The authors concluded that interventions addressing women’s negative beliefs regarding the challenges of AI treatment are needed to help optimize adherence.