Using electronic drug monitoring (EDM) as a gold standard, this study validated testing of a rigorously developed three-item medication adherence self-report scale, using both HIV antiretroviral medications and other medications. The results support the validity of the self-report scale, and suggest that it can be used for all classes of medications. In clinical care the scale is probably best used as a screening tool that can identify people with non-perfect adherence who would be candidates for a more detailed, face-to-face assessment of potential barriers to optimal medication taking. In clinical research, or in quality improvement work that compares populations of patients, this self-report scale can be a useful and efficient tool when more complex and expensive methods such as EDM cannot be used, or when pharmacy refill data are unavailable.
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