Annette L. Stanton, PhD
Professor, Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences
Member, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Department of Psychology
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
2013-2014 BCRF Project(s):
(The ANN INC. Award)
In light of the paucity of effective approaches to improve adherence to endocrine therapies for women diagnosed with breast cancer, the long-term goal of Dr. Stanton’s BCRF-support work is to develop and test an intervention to promote adherence to endocrine therapies in a small randomized, controlled trial. Dr. Stanton will analyze data and disseminate findings from her team’s currently BCRF-funded research on adherence to endocrine therapies, as well as analyze qualitative material from planned focus groups. Based on those findings, her team will also create materials for an intervention to enhance adherence to endocrine therapies. In addition, with 160 women beginning an endocrine therapy prescription, these investigators will conduct a preliminary randomized, controlled trial of an intervention to promote informed adherence to endocrine therapies. Such research constitutes the next logical step toward aiding women diagnosed with breast cancer toward informed adherence to endocrine therapies.
A model of contributors to adherence in clinical practice settings is being tested in a prospective, longitudinal study of 120 breast cancer patients initiating a first endocrine therapy prescription through 12 months. In addition, data collection is complete for a nationwide survey of more than 1,000 women regarding their experience of endocrine therapy. Findings reveal that, among current users, non-adherence to endocrine therapy is linked to lower financial status, a prior switch in endocrine therapies, a poorer relationship with the oncologist, and lower perceived need for and more negative emotions regarding the endocrine therapy. Women who did not take the prescription for the full five years (i.e., non-persisters) were significantly more likely than current users to report depressive symptoms, as well as more negative emotions and lower positive emotions related to endocrine therapy. Currently, the researchers are developing and testing an approach to help breast cancer survivors adhere to their endocrine therapy prescriptions.
Annette Stanton is Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry/Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, senior research scientist at the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, and a member of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research centers on specifying factors that promote psychological and physical health in individuals who confront health-related adversity.
In the area of psychosocial oncology, she conducts both longitudinal research and randomized, controlled intervention trials to understand the influences of personality and contextual resources, cognitive appraisals, and coping processes on the quality of life and health in women diagnosed with breast cancer or at risk for the disease. Dr. Stanton received the Senior Investigator Award in 2002-2003 from Division 38 (Health Psychology) of the American Psychological Association in recognition of her research contributions to health psychology.