Patient-oncologist alliance, psychosocial well-being, and treatment adherence among young adults with advanced cancer.
Patients who develop a strong alliance with their health care providers have been shown to have higher levels of psychosocial well-being and rates of treatment adherence. Young adults with cancer have lower levels of psychosocial well-being and treatment adherence relative to patients with cancer in other age groups. This study sought to evaluate the relationships between the patient-oncologist alliance, psychosocial well-being, and treatment adherence in young adults with advanced cancer.
Ninety-five young adults (age 20 to 40 years) with advanced cancer were administered measures of alliance, psychosocial well-being, willingness to adhere to treatment, and treatment adherence. Relationships between alliance and psychosocial well-being were examined bivariately. Multiple linear regression models examined the relationship between alliance and adherence, controlling for confounding influences (eg, psychosocial well-being).
Alliance was significantly (P ≤ .01) and positively associated with greater perceived social support and less severe illness-related grief. After controlling for significant confounding influences (ie, metastases, appraised support, and grief), alliance remained significantly (P ≤ .01) associated with greater willingness to adhere to treatment and greater adherence to oral medication.
By developing a strong alliance, oncologists may enhance psychosocial well-being and increase treatment adherence in young adult patients with advanced cancer.