Document Detail

Online discussion of drug side effects and discontinuation among breast cancer survivors.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23322591     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
PURPOSE: While patients often use the internet as a medium to search for and exchange health-related information, little is known about the extent to which patients use social media to discuss side effects related to medications. We aim to understand the frequency and content of side effects and associated adherence behaviors discussed by breast cancer patients related to using aromatase inhibitors (AIs), with particular emphasis on AI-related arthralgia.
METHODS: We performed a mixed methods study to examine content related to AI associated side effects posted by individuals on 12 message boards between 2002 and 2010. We quantitatively defined the frequency and association between side effects and AIs and identified common themes using content analysis. One thousand randomly selected messages related to arthralgia were coded by two independent raters.
RESULTS: Among 25 256 posts related to AIs, 4589 (18.2%) mentioned at least one side effect. Top-cited side effects on message boards related to AIs were joint/musculoskeletal pain (N = 5093), hot flashes (1498), osteoporosis (719), and weight gain (429). Among the authors posting messages who self-reported AI use, 12.8% mentioned discontinuing AIs, while another 28.1% mentioned switching AIs. Although patients often cited severe joint pain as the reason for discontinuing AIs, many also offered support and advice for coping with AI-associated arthralgia.
CONCLUSION: Online discussion of AI-related side effects was common and often related to drug switching and discontinuation. Physicians should be aware of these discussions and guide patients to effectively manage side effects of drugs and promote optimal adherence.
Jun J Mao; Annie Chung; Adrian Benton; Shawndra Hill; Lyle Ungar; Charles E Leonard; Sean Hennessy; John H Holmes
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2013-01-16
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety     Volume:  22     ISSN:  1099-1557     ISO Abbreviation:  Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf     Publication Date:  2013 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-03-04     Completed Date:  2013-08-21     Revised Date:  2014-09-01    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9208369     Medline TA:  Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  256-62     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Psychological
Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / adverse effects*
Aromatase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
Arthralgia / chemically induced,  psychology
Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
Drug Substitution
Health Communication
Health Information Systems
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
Hot Flashes / chemically induced,  psychology
Medication Adherence*
Osteoporosis / chemically induced,  psychology
Quality of Life
Social Media*
Survivors / psychology*
Weight Gain
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal; 0/Aromatase Inhibitors

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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