Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 1306–1313 | Cite as

Patients’ Perception of App-based Educational and Behavioural Interventions for Enhancing Oral Anticancer Medication Adherence

  • Eskinder Eshetu Ali
  • Jo Lene Leow
  • Lita Chew
  • Kevin Yi-Lwern YapEmail author


Well-designed smartphone apps can potentially help in enhancing adherence to oral anticancer medications (OAMs). The objective of this study was to evaluate patients’ perception on inclusion of various adherence-enhancing strategies as features of an app and their interest in using such app. A cross-sectional survey was conducted at the National Cancer Centre Singapore. A structured self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from patients taking OAMs. Final analysis was based on 409 surveys and most of the respondents were female (291, 71.1%), Chinese (332, 81.2%), married (296, 72.4%) and breast cancer patients (211, 51.6%). Close to two-thirds of respondents rated medication information (65.0%), disease information (60.2%) and side effect self-management (60.2%) features as having the highest level of importance in an adherence app. Three hundred thirty-two (81.2%) of the respondents owned a smartphone, among which 92 (27.7%) reported using health-related apps. From respondents with smartphones, 219 (66.0%) were interested in using an app for OAM adherence. Age 65 and older compared to 21–54 years old (adjusted OR = 0.34; 95% CI = 0.15–0.76) and current use of a health app (adjusted OR = 1.91; 95% CI = 1.07–3.41) were significant predictors of interest to adopt an adherence app. In conclusion, patients value the inclusion of educational and behavioural interventions in adherence apps. Developers of adherence apps should consider including tools for side effect self-management and provision of information to educate patients on their medications and disease condition.


Adherence Oral anticancer medication Cancer Smartphone app Educational intervention 



The authors wish to thank all the pharmacy staff, at the National Cancer Centre Singapore, who helped in the process of data collection.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

Conflict of Interest

None declared

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (DOCX 147 kb)
13187_2017_1248_MOESM2_ESM.docx (90 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 90 kb)


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Copyright information

© American Association for Cancer Education 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of ScienceNational University of SingaporeSingaporeRepublic of Singapore
  2. 2.Department of PharmacyNational Cancer Centre SingaporeSingaporeRepublic of Singapore

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