, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 227-245
Date: 03 Jun 2006

Self-Report Measures of Antiretroviral Therapy Adherence: A Review with Recommendations for HIV Research and Clinical Management

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A review of 77 studies employing self-report measures of antiretroviral adherence published 1/1996 through 8/2004 revealed great variety in adherence assessment item content, format, and response options. Recall periods ranged from 2 to 365 days (mode=7 days). The most common cutoff for optimal adherence was 100% (21/48 studies, or 44%). In 27 of 34 recall periods (79%), self-reported adherence was associated with adherence as assessed with other indirect measures. Data from 57 of 67 recall periods (84%) indicated self-reported adherence was significantly associated with HIV-1 RNA viral load; in 16 of 26 (62%), it was associated with CD4 count. Clearly, the field would benefit from item standardization and a priori definitions and operationalizations of adherence. We conclude that even brief self-report measures of antiretroviral adherence can be robust, and recommend items and strategies for HIV research and clinical management.