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ESPACOMP Medication Adherence Reporting Guidelines (EMERGE): a reactive-Delphi study protocol.

Helmy R, Zullig LL, Dunbar-Jacob J, Hughes DA, Vrijens B, Wilson IB, De Geest S. ESPACOMP Medication Adherence Reporting Guidelines (EMERGE): a reactive-Delphi study protocol. BMJ open. 2017 Feb 10; 7(2):e013496.

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INTRODUCTION: Medication adherence is fundamental to achieving optimal patient outcomes. Reporting research on medication adherence suffers from some issues-including conceptualisation, measurement and data analysis-that thwart its advancement. Using the ABC taxonomy for medication adherence as the conceptual basis, a steering committee of members of the European Society for Patient Adherence, COMpliance, and Persistence (ESPACOMP) launched an initiative to develop ESPACOMP Medication Adherence Reporting Guidelines (EMERGE). This paper is a protocol for a Delphi study that aims to build consensus among a group of topic experts regarding an item list that will support developing EMERGE. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This study uses a reactive-Delphi design where a group of topic experts will be asked to rate the relevance and clarity of an initial list of items, in addition to suggesting further items and/or modifications of the initial items. The initial item list, generated by the EMERGE steering committee through a structured process, consists of 26 items distributed in 2 sections: 4 items representing the taxonomy-based minimum reporting criteria, and 22 items organised according to the common reporting sections. A purposive sample of experts will be selected from relevant disciplines and diverse geographical locations. Consensus will be achieved through predefined decision rules to keep, delete or modify the items. An iterative process of online survey rounds will be carried out until consensus is reached. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: An ethics approval was not required for the study according to the Swiss federal act on research involving human beings. The participating experts will be asked to give an informed consent. The results of this Delphi study will feed into EMERGE, which will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications and presentations at conferences. Additionally, the steering committee will encourage their endorsement by registering the guidelines at the Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research (EQUATOR) network and other relevant organisations.

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