Annals of Hematology

, Volume 91, Issue 5, pp 679–685 | Cite as

Good adherence to imatinib therapy among patients with chronic myeloid leukemia—a single-center observational study

  • Sofia JönssonEmail author
  • Bob Olsson
  • Jenny Söderberg
  • Hans Wadenvik
Original Article


Previous studies have suggested that adherence to imatinib therapy can be an obstacle among patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). We studied adherence to imatinib therapy among CML patients treated at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital. We identified all CML patients that were alive at the 1st of January 2010 (n = 70). Nineteen patients were excluded due to a history of allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and nine were excluded due to treatment with other tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Thirty-eight out of 42 patients (90%) treated with imatinib accepted inclusion in the study. The patients were interviewed in a structured way, and adherence was evaluated in a standardized way using the nine-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale that ranges from 1 to 13. A Morisky score ≤10 indicates nonadherence and ≥11 indicates adherence. In addition, predefined follow-up questions were asked to identify factors known to influence adherence to therapy. In contrast to previous studies, our patients showed good adherence to imatinib therapy with a mean Morisky score of 12.3 out of 13 (range, 9–13). The interviews revealed factors known to predict adherence to therapy, namely being well informed and having frequent contact with a single hematologist. Furthermore, the patients had easy access to the treating clinic and felt that they took part in decisions concerning their disease and treatment. We show that adherence to imatinib can be very good in CML patients, and we suggest that simple measures such as increased patient information and continuity of care will increase adherence in patients with CML.


Imatinib Chronic myeloid leukemia Adherence Nine-item MMAS Morisky score Treatment response 



Grants from Novartis covered the costs of the interviews performed by Health Solutions AB (Stockholm, Sweden). The study was supported by grants from the Swedish federal government under the LUA/ALF agreement, the Sahlgrenska University Hospital Foundation, and the Agreement concerning research and education of doctors in Västra Götaland, Sweden.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofia Jönsson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bob Olsson
    • 2
  • Jenny Söderberg
    • 3
  • Hans Wadenvik
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Hematology, Department of Internal MedicineSahlgrenska University HospitalGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.Department of Neurochemistry and PsychiatrySahlgrenska University HospitalGothenburgSweden
  3. 3.Health Solutions ABStockholmSweden

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