Development of an Item Bank to Measure Medication Adherence: Systematic Review.



Medication adherence is important in managing the progression of chronic diseases. A promising approach to reduce cognitive burden when measuring medication adherence lies in the use of computer-adaptive tests (CATs) or in the development of shorter patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). However, the lack of an item bank currently hampers this progress.


We aim to develop an item bank to measure general medication adherence.


Using the preferred reporting items for systematic review and meta-analysis (PRISMA), articles published before October 2019 were retrieved from PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, the Cochrane Library, and Web of Science. Items from existing PROMs were classified and selected ("binned" and "winnowed") according to standards published by the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Cooperative Group.


A total of 126 unique PROMs were identified from 213 studies in 48 countries. Items from the literature review (47 PROMs with 579 items for which permission has been obtained) underwent binning and winnowing. This resulted in 421 candidate items (77 extent of adherence and 344 reasons for adherence).


We developed an item bank for measuring general medication adherence using items from validated PROMs. This will allow researchers to create new PROMs from selected items and provide the foundation to develop CATs.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Kwan, Yu Heng, Livia Jia Yi Oo, Dionne Hui Fang Loh, Jie Kie Phang, Si Dun Weng, Dan V Blalock, Eng Hui Chew, Kai Zhen Yap, et al. (2020). Development of an Item Bank to Measure Medication Adherence: Systematic Review. Journal of medical Internet research, 22(10). p. e19089. 10.2196/19089 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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