Pillbox intervention fidelity in medication adherence research: A systematic review.

Journal Article (Systematic Review;Review;Journal Article)


Pillboxes are widely available, have evidence of effectiveness, but translating pillboxes in self-management interventions requires an understanding of intervention components.


To review components of intervention design, interventionist training, delivery, receipt, enactment, and targeted behaviors in adherence studies.


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.


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.


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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bartlett Ellis, RJ; Knisely, MR; Boyer, K; Pike, C

Published Date

  • July 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 65 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 464 - 476

PubMed ID

  • 28187900

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1528-3968

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0029-6554

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.outlook.2016.12.011


  • eng