Study finds patient messages help predict medication adherence

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Around two-thirds of patients treated for breast cancer will have had hormone-sensitive tumors and, after their initial treatment, will be advised to undergo hormone therapy for five to 10 years to prevent recurrence.

But around half of these patients will for various reasons decide to discontinue these drugs early and face increased risk of recurrence.

Looking for a means to predict which patients will enter this risky terrain, Zhijun Yin, PhD, and colleagues at Vanderbilt University Medical Center turned to electronic health records, and specifically to electronic messages sent by these patients to the health care team via the online patient portal My Health at Vanderbilt.

Their study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.