Implementation and effectiveness of evriMED with short messages service (SMS) reminders and tailored feedback compared to standard care on adherence to treatment among tuberculosis patients in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania: proposal for a cluster randomized controlled trial

Trials. 2019 Jul 12;20(1):426. doi: 10.1186/s13063-019-3483-4.


Background: Adherence to tuberculosis (TB) treatment is challenging because of many factors. The World Health Organization has recommended the use of digital adherence monitoring technologies in its End TB Strategy. However, evidence on improving adherence is limited. EvriMED is a real-time medication-monitoring device which was found to be feasible and acceptable in a few studies in Asia. In Tanzania, however, there may be challenges in implementing evriMED due to stigmatization, network and power access, accuracy, and cost effectiveness, which may have implications for treatment outcome. We propose a pragmatic cluster randomized trial to investigate the effectiveness of evriMED with reminder cues and tailored feedback on adherence to TB treatment in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania.

Methods/design: We will create clusters in Kilimanjaro based on level of health care facility. Clusters will be randomized in an intervention arm, where evriMED will be implemented, or a control arm, where standard practice directly observed treatment will be followed. TB patients in intervention clusters will take their medication from the evriMED pillbox and receive tailored feedback. We will use the 'Stages of Change' model, which assumes that a person has to go through the stages of pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and evaluation to change behavior for tailored feedback on adherence reports from the device.

Discussion: If the intervention shows a significant effect on adherence and the devices are accepted, accurate, and sustainable, the intervention can be scaled up within the National Tuberculosis Programmes.

Trial registration: Pan African Clinical Trials Registry, PACTR201811755733759 . Registered on 8 November 2018.

Keywords: Adherence; Cluster randomized trial; Real-time medication monitoring; Resource-limited setting; Tuberculosis; evriMED; mHealth.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cues
  • Feedback, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Pragmatic Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Reminder Systems*
  • Tanzania
  • Text Messaging*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberculosis / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis / drug therapy*
  • Tuberculosis / psychology
  • Young Adult


  • Antitubercular Agents