Provider Advice Affects Breast Cancer Prevention Decisions

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Perceptions regarding medication intake, breast cancer worry, and trust in HCP were factors associated with the SERM decision.
Perceptions regarding medication intake, breast cancer worry, and trust in HCP were factors associated with the SERM decision.

(HealthDay News) -- For patients at high risk for breast cancer, health care provider (HCP) recommendation is the most important factor for deciding whether to use selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), according to a study published online Oct. 4 in Cancer Prevention Research.

Christine Holmberg, Ph.D., from the Institute of Public Health Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin in Germany, and colleagues surveyed women counseled by an HCP about SERMs. The authors compared responses from those who decided to use and not to use SERMs.

Overall, 726 of the 1,023 participants made a decision: 44.6 and 55.4 percent decided to take a SERM and not to, respectively. The researchers found that the HCP recommendation was the most important factor for deciding on SERM use. Attitudes and perceptions regarding medication intake, breast cancer worry, trust in HCP, family members with blood clots, and others' experience with SERMs were also factors associated with the decision. Participants with a positive versus a negative attitude toward taking medications had higher odds of SERM intake when recommended by an HCP.

"Results indicate the need for developing interventions for HCPs that not only focus on the presentation of medical information but, equally as important, on addressing patients' beliefs and experiences," the authors write.

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