Pillbox intervention fidelity in medication adherence research: A systematic review

Rebecca J. Bartlett Ellis, Mitchell R. Knisely, Kiersten Boyer, Caitlin Pike

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Background Pillboxes are widely available, have evidence of effectiveness, but translating pillboxes in self-management interventions requires an understanding of intervention components. Purpose To review components of intervention design, interventionist training, delivery, receipt, enactment, and targeted behaviors in adherence studies. Methods Five multidisciplinary databases were searched to find reports of controlled trials testing pillboxes and medication adherence interventions in adults managing medications. Details of treatment fidelity, that is, design, training, delivery, receipt, and enactment, were abstracted. Findings A total of 38 articles reporting 40 studies were included. Treatment fidelity descriptions were often lacking, especially reporting receipt and enactment, important for both control and intervention groups. Clearly reported details are needed to avoid making assumptions when translating evidence. Conclusion These findings serve as a call to action to explicitly state intervention details. Lack of reported intervention detail is a barrier to translating which components of pillboxes work in influencing medication adherence behaviors and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-476
Number of pages13
JournalNursing outlook
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2017


  • Behavioral interventions
  • Medication adherence
  • Pillboxes
  • Treatment fidelity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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