Adherence to oral chemotherapy is essential for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and multiple myeloma (MM) to remain in remission. Few studies have used a Likert-type scale to measure medication adherence in CML and MM patients.

The researchers applied a validated treatment adherence tool, the ASK-12 (Adherence Starts with Knowledge®) survey, which assessed inconvenience and forgetfulness, treatment beliefs, and medication-taking behaviors recorded on a five-point Likert-type scale at two visits.

A medication adherence survey was administered to 42 newly diagnosed or pre-existing CML or MM patients at two outpatient oncology clinics affiliated with an academic medical center in rural eastern North Carolina. Thirty-one patients completed surveys at visit 1 and visit 2 (median 4.5 months apart).

Most patients were treated for MM (65%), were non-Hispanic black (68%) and female (58%). Within subscales, mean adherence scores decreased between visits, signaling better adherence. Overall, visit scores were correlated (0.63, p = 0.001).

Medication costs

Forgetting to take medication sometimes was the most common reason for non-adherence. Medication costs were not a barrier for MM patients. Greater patient-provider informed decision-making was identified as an opportunity for quality improvement among CML patients.

The ASK-12 survey provided a strategy to obtain robust information on medication adherence. A medication adherence survey was administered to 42 newly diagnosed or pre-existing CML or MM patients at two outpatient oncology clinics affiliated with an academic medical center in rural eastern North Carolina.

A total of 31 patients completed surveys at visit 1 and visit 2 (median 4.5 months apart). Most patients were treated for MM (65%), were non-Hispanic black (68%) and female (58%). Within subscales, mean adherence scores decreased between visits, signaling better adherence.

Overall, visit scores were correlated (0.63, p = 0.001). Forgetting to take medication sometimes was the most common reason for non-adherence. Medication costs were not a barrier for MM patients.

Greater patient-provider informed decision-making was identified as an opportunity for quality improvement among CML patients. The ASK-12 survey provided a strategy to obtain robust information on medication adherence.

The ASK-12 survey incorporates features of the 4- or 8-question MMAS and has a high correlation with the 4-question MMAS on medication-taking behavior. Gradation of darker color from least adherent to non-color as most adherent may be most like the Visual Analog Scale.

Other advantages of the ASK-12 survey include a Likert-Type response scale with darker color coding indicating non-adherence which allows immediate visualization for the provider to discuss with the patient.