Study designs of evaluations included in the review
Inclusion criteria were not specified in terms of the study design. The duration of follow-up amongst randomised controlled trials (RCTs) ranged from immediately post-intervention to 18 months.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies of interventions aimed at improving adherence to ART were eligible for inclusion. Half of the included studies evaluated combinations of cognitive and behavioural interventions; other studies evaluated emotional support, either alone or in combination with other elements or methods used to provide services. Most interventions were provided to individuals; others were provided to groups. The interventions were delivered by a variety of providers, such as pharmacists, nurses, HIV primary care providers, paraprofessionals, peers and counsellors. The duration of the interventions ranged from one session to several contacts over 10 months. Three studies evaluated theory-based interventions.
Participants included in the review
Studies of patients with HIV who were taking ART were eligible for inclusion. About half of the included studies targeted general HIV populations; most of the others targeted active injecting drug users or patients with a history of substance abuse.
Outcomes assessed in the review
Studies that assessed adherence were eligible for inclusion. The included studies assessed adherence using self-report, refills, MEMS TrackCaps, medication monitoring, clinic visits or appointment attendance. Other outcomes, such as decrease in viral load, were also assessed (details were reported).
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
The authors did not state how the papers were selected for the review, or how many reviewers performed the selection.