Measurement Properties of Existing Patient-Reported Outcome Measures on Medication Adherence: Systematic Review.



Medication adherence is essential for improving the health outcomes of patients. Various patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) have been developed to measure medication adherence in patients. However, no study has summarized the psychometric properties of these PROMs to guide selection for use in clinical practice or research.


This study aims to evaluate the quality of the PROMs used to measure medication adherence.


This study was guided by the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis) guidelines. Relevant articles were retrieved from the EMBASE, PubMed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) databases. The PROMs were then evaluated based on the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) guidelines.


A total of 121 unique medication adherence PROMs from 214 studies were identified. Hypotheses testing for construct validity and internal consistency were the most frequently assessed measurement properties. PROMs with at least a moderate level of evidence for ≥5 measurement properties include the Adherence Starts with Knowledge 20, Compliance Questionnaire-Rheumatology, General Medication Adherence Scale, Hill-Bone Scale, Immunosuppressant Therapy Barrier Scale, Medication Adherence Reasons Scale (MAR-Scale) revised, 5-item Medication Adherence Rating Scale (MARS-5), 9-item MARS (MARS-9), 4-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (MMAS-4), 8-item MMAS (MMAS-8), Self-efficacy for Appropriate Medication Adherence Scale, Satisfaction with Iron Chelation Therapy, Test of Adherence to Inhalers, and questionnaire by Voils. The MAR-Scale revised, MMAS-4, and MMAS-8 have been administered electronically.


This study identified 121 PROMs for medication adherence and provided synthesized evidence for the measurement properties of these PROMs. The findings from this study may assist clinicians and researchers in selecting suitable PROMs to assess medication adherence.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Kwan, Yu Heng, Si Dun Weng, Dionne Hui Fang Loh, Jie Kie Phang, Livia Jia Yi Oo, Dan V Blalock, Eng Hui Chew, Kai Zhen Yap, et al. (2020). Measurement Properties of Existing Patient-Reported Outcome Measures on Medication Adherence: Systematic Review. Journal of medical Internet research, 22(10). p. e19179. 10.2196/19179 Retrieved from

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Daniel Blalock

Associate Consulting Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

I am a behavioral health researcher with a background in Clinical Psychology and Experimental Psychology.  My research interests include broad processes of behavior change and self-regulation as well as psychometric measurement and research methods/statistics.  My specific research endeavors include 1) the measurement and behavior change applicability of constructs related to self-control, 2) measurement and interventions to improve self-regulatory health behaviors including medication adherence and substance use, and 3) measure development and psychometrics as related to self-reported and patient-reported outcomes.


Hayden Barry Bosworth

Professor in Population Health Sciences

Dr. Bosworth is a health services researcher and Deputy Director of the Center of Innovation to Accelerate Discovery and Practice Transformation (ADAPT)  at the Durham VA Medical Center. He is also Vice Chair of Education and Professor of Population Health Sciences. He is also a Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Nursing at Duke University Medical Center and Adjunct Professor in Health Policy and Administration at the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests comprise three overarching areas of research: 1) clinical research that provides knowledge for improving patients’ treatment adherence and self-management in chronic care; 2) translation research to improve access to quality of care; and 3) eliminate health care disparities. 

Dr. Bosworth is the recipient of an American Heart Association established investigator award, the 2013 VA Undersecretary Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research (The annual award is the highest honor for VA health services researchers), and a VA Senior Career Scientist Award. In terms of self-management, Dr. Bosworth has expertise developing interventions to improve health behaviors related to hypertension, coronary artery disease, and depression, and has been developing and implementing tailored patient interventions to reduce the burden of other chronic diseases. These trials focus on motivating individuals to initiate health behaviors and sustaining them long term and use members of the healthcare team, particularly pharmacists and nurses. He has been the Principal Investigator of over 30 trials resulting in over 400 peer reviewed publications and four books. This work has been or is being implemented in multiple arenas including Medicaid of North Carolina, private payers, The United Kingdom National Health System Direct, Kaiser Health care system, and the Veterans Affairs.

Areas of Expertise: Health Behavior, Health Services Research, Implementation Science, Health Measurement, and Health Policy

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