Factors associated with compliance to chemotherapy amongst cancer patients in a radiotherapy facility

  • Shehu S. Umar
  • Salihu Muhammad
  • Albert M. Alfred
  • Ehiosa C. Okuofo
  • Charles Okwonna
  • Ismail H. Zubair
  • Tessy O. Ahmadu


Objectives: To study compliance with chemotherapy schedules in cancer patients and associated factors.
Study Background: This study was conducted in Radiotherapy/Oncology Department, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH) Zaria which has a 10-bed capacity chemotherapy room, within 11 weeks from 1st March 2018 to 18th May 2018. Almost all the patients were on 3- weekly cyclical chemotherapy with very few patients on 2-weekly or 4- weekly courses. The hospital serves as a centre of excellence for oncology in the Northern region of Nigeria. The bulk of the patients are from a low socio-economic class.
Methodology: The study is a prospective cross-sectional study involving a total of 140 patients. Data collection from patients' record (age, diagnosis, stage at diagnosis, comorbidities, chemotherapy regimen, previous treatments received etc.), the record of the date of chemotherapy course and assessment ECOG performance for each patient during each chemotherapy course were recorded in a designed booklet. This was conducted for over 11 weeks. Ethical clearance was obtained. Patients' consent was obtained, and care was taken to maintain the confidentiality of patients. Data collected were inputted and analyzed using Statistical Program for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21.0.
Results: There was a statistically significant correlation between compliance with chemotherapy schedule and patients' performance status, prior radiotherapy, combination chemotherapy and use of platinum-based chemotherapy regimen. However, there were no correlations with patients' age, sex, chemotherapy course, stage of the disease, previous oncologyrelated surgery (excluding biopsies), comorbidities and blood transfusion during chemotherapy.
Conclusion: This study suggests that patients' performance status, prior radiotherapy, use of platinum-based chemotherapy and combination chemotherapy schedule are significant to compliance with chemotherapy


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eISSN: 1115-2613