Use of an on-line pager system to increase adherence to antiretroviral medications

S. A. Safren, E. S. Hendriksen, N. Desousa, S. L. Boswell, K. H. Mayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Adherence to antiretroviral therapy is critical for treatment success. Antiretroviral therapy typically requires multiple pills at multiple dosing times. To address this, we tested the feasibility, utility, and efficacy of a customizable reminder system using pagers, which were programmed using web-based technology, to increase and maintain proper adherence in patients with pre-existing adherence problems. After a two-week monitoring period with an electronic pill-cap, participants with less than 90% adherence were randomized to continue monitoring or to receive a pager. The group who received the pagers had greater improvements in adherence from baseline to Week 2 and Week 12 than those who monitored their medications only. However, adherence in both groups at the outcome assessments points was still poor. While the provision of a reminder system helped improve adherence, it is likely that more intensive interventions are required for patients with pre-existing problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-793
Number of pages7
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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