Visual analogue scale (VAS) measurement of antiretroviral adherence in people living with HIV (PLWH): A meta-analysis


Effective treatment of HIV hinges upon maintaining adequate antiretroviral therapy adherence. Accurate, cost-effective measurement of medication adherence is needed to best respond to the HIV pandemic. The visual analogue scale (VAS) appears to be a simple and easy to use measure of adherence but the current literature on its use is mixed. This meta-analysis (1) describes VAS concordance with other measures of medication adherence and viral load; and (2) examines how research methods moderate the reported strength of the VAS-viral load relationship. Literature searches were conducted electronically and by hand with a total of 20 studies included in the present study. The VAS showed large strength associations with most other measures of adherence and a smaller association with viral load. More rigorous methodological quality significantly improved the VAS-viral load effect size. We conclude with optimization recommendations for VAS use in clinical practice and research design.


Finitsis DJ, Pellowski JA, Huedo-Medina TB, Fox MC, Kalichman SC.




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
    • Other
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment


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