Assessment of guideline adherence in breast cancer management among oncologists in Nigeria

23 Sep 2021
Bolanle C Adegboyega, Adewumi O Alabi, Adedayo O Joseph, Nwamaka Lasebikan, Luther A Agaga, Kehinde O Ololade, Anthonia C Sowunmi

Background: Breast cancer management is evolving by the day and new discoveries is shifting the scale to more positive result mostly in developed countries and this is being reported and updated in the treatment guidelines to bridge the knowledge gaps and allow for global standardised management protocol. This study assessed the adherence to the breast cancer guideline use among oncologists in Nigeria, reviewing the commonly used guidelines, factors for the choice, effects on treatment and barriers to usage.

Methodology: A proforma was sent by mail to the oncologist in Nigeria assessing their socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge of guidelines, use of guidelines, barriers to use of guidelines and benefits of guideline use and all the those that completed the survey within 1-month period were included in the study.

Results: A total of 109 oncologist responded to the survey with mean age of 42 years, mean year of oncology practice was 10 years. Sixty-four percent were consultants and 38% residents-in-training. All respondents were aware of breast cancer guidelines and 92.2% had used it in treatment decision making. The commonest used being National Comprehensive Cancer Network guideline in 87.4% and 82.6% had a choice guideline/institution adopted. The major reason for referring to a choice guideline by 66% of respondents was to gain access to evidence-based results and the major barrier to guideline use in 56% of cases was non compatibility with available resources.

Conclusion: The study revealed high level of adherence to breast cancer guideline use among oncologists in Nigeria but there is need for more awareness about the locally developed ones like sub-Saharan adapted version and institutional based breast cancer treatment guidelines so as to address the barrier of disparities in target population and resources availability.