The validity of self-reported medication adherence as an outcome in clinical trials of adherence-promotion interventions: Findings from the MACH14 study

AIDS Behav. 2014 Dec;18(12):2285-90. doi: 10.1007/s10461-014-0905-x.


In medication adherence-promotion trials, participants in the intervention arm are often cognizant of the researcher's aim to improve adherence; this may lead to their inflating reports of their own adherence compared to control arm participants. Using data from 1,247 HIV-positive participants across eight U.S. Studies in the Multi-site Adherence Collaboration on HIV (MACH14) collaboration, we evaluated the validity of self-reported adherence by examining whether its association with two more objective outcomes [1], electronically monitored adherence and [2] viral load, varied by study arm. After adjusting for potential confounders, there was no evidence of greater overestimation of self-reported adherence among intervention arm participants, supporting its potential as a trial outcome indicator.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-HIV Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV-1
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Program Evaluation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Report*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Viral Load


  • Anti-HIV Agents

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