Unannounced Telephone-Based Pill Counts: A Valid and Feasible Method for Monitoring Adherence

R. Fredericksen, B. J. Feldman, T. Brown, S. Schmidt, P. K. Crane, R. D. Harrington, S. Dhanireddy, J. McReynolds, W. B. Lober, D. R. Bangsberg, M. M. Kitahata, Heidi M. Crane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Phone-based unannounced pill counts to measure medication adherence are much more practical and less expensive than home-based unannounced pill counts, but their validity has not been widely assessed. We examined the validity of phone versus home-based pill counts using a simplified protocol streamlined for studies embedded in clinical care settings. A total of 100 paired counts were used to compare concordance between unannounced phone and home-based pill counts using interclass correlations. Discrepancy analyses using χ2 tests compared demographic and clinical characteristics across patients who were concordant between phone and home-based pill counts and patients who were not concordant. Concordance was high for phone-based and home-based unannounced total pill counts, as well as individual medication counts and calculated adherence. This study demonstrates that a simplified phone-based pill count protocol can be implemented among patients from a routine clinical care setting and is a feasible means of monitoring medication adherence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2265-2273
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Adherence
  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • Pill counts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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