Evaluation of 3 approaches for assessing adherence to vaginal gel application in clinical trials

Ariane Van Der Straten, Helen Cheng, Barbara Mensch, Barbara Friedland, Lauren Katzen, Sarah Littlefield, Niall Buckley, Lilia Espinoza, Marla J. Keller, Betsy Herold, Mark H. Einstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Accurate measurement of adherence to product use is an ongoing challenge in microbicide trials. METHODS: We compared adherence estimates using 2 applicator tests (a dye stain assay [DSA] and an ultraviolet light assay [UVA]), the Wisebag (an applicator container that electronically tracks container openings), and self-reported adherence (ability, frequency, and percent missed doses). Healthy, HIV-negative, nonpregnant US women aged 23 to 45 years received a Wisebag and 32 applicators filled with placebo gel were instructed to insert 1 applicator daily for 30 days, returned the Wisebag and all applicators, and completed an exit interview. Emptied applicators were tested by UVA and then DSA, and scored by 2 blinded readers. Positive and negative controls were randomly included in applicator batches. RESULTS: Among 42 women enrolled, 39 completed the study. Both DSA and UVA yielded similar sensitivity (97% and 95%) and specificity (79% and 79%). Two participants had fully inoperable Wisebags, and 9 had partially inoperable Wisebags. The proportion of participants considered to have high adherence (≥80%) varied: 43% (Wisebag), 46% (UVA), 49% (DSA), and 62% to 82% (self-reports). For estimating high adherence, Wisebag had a sensitivity of 76% (95% confidence interval, 50%-93%) and a specificity of 85% (95% confidence interval, 62%-97%) compared with DSA. Although 28% of participants reported forgetting to open the Wisebag daily, 59% said that it helped them remember gel use. CONCLUSIONS: Dye stain assay and UVA performed similarly. Compared with these tests, self-reports overestimated and Wisebag underestimated adherence. Although Wisebag may encourage gel use, the applicator tests currently seem more useful for measuring use in clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)950-956
Number of pages7
JournalSexually Transmitted Diseases
Volume40
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2013

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Foams and Jellies Vaginal Creams
Coloring Agents
Clinical Trials
Ultraviolet Rays
Gels
Self Report
Confidence Intervals
Anti-Infective Agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Van Der Straten, A., Cheng, H., Mensch, B., Friedland, B., Katzen, L., Littlefield, S., ... Einstein, M. H. (2013). Evaluation of 3 approaches for assessing adherence to vaginal gel application in clinical trials. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 40(12), 950-956. https://doi.org/10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000053

Evaluation of 3 approaches for assessing adherence to vaginal gel application in clinical trials. / Van Der Straten, Ariane; Cheng, Helen; Mensch, Barbara; Friedland, Barbara; Katzen, Lauren; Littlefield, Sarah; Buckley, Niall; Espinoza, Lilia; Keller, Marla J.; Herold, Betsy; Einstein, Mark H.

In: Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Vol. 40, No. 12, 12.2013, p. 950-956.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Van Der Straten, A, Cheng, H, Mensch, B, Friedland, B, Katzen, L, Littlefield, S, Buckley, N, Espinoza, L, Keller, MJ, Herold, B & Einstein, MH 2013, 'Evaluation of 3 approaches for assessing adherence to vaginal gel application in clinical trials', Sexually Transmitted Diseases, vol. 40, no. 12, pp. 950-956. https://doi.org/10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000053
Van Der Straten, Ariane ; Cheng, Helen ; Mensch, Barbara ; Friedland, Barbara ; Katzen, Lauren ; Littlefield, Sarah ; Buckley, Niall ; Espinoza, Lilia ; Keller, Marla J. ; Herold, Betsy ; Einstein, Mark H. / Evaluation of 3 approaches for assessing adherence to vaginal gel application in clinical trials. In: Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 2013 ; Vol. 40, No. 12. pp. 950-956.
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abstract = "BACKGROUND: Accurate measurement of adherence to product use is an ongoing challenge in microbicide trials. METHODS: We compared adherence estimates using 2 applicator tests (a dye stain assay [DSA] and an ultraviolet light assay [UVA]), the Wisebag (an applicator container that electronically tracks container openings), and self-reported adherence (ability, frequency, and percent missed doses). Healthy, HIV-negative, nonpregnant US women aged 23 to 45 years received a Wisebag and 32 applicators filled with placebo gel were instructed to insert 1 applicator daily for 30 days, returned the Wisebag and all applicators, and completed an exit interview. Emptied applicators were tested by UVA and then DSA, and scored by 2 blinded readers. Positive and negative controls were randomly included in applicator batches. RESULTS: Among 42 women enrolled, 39 completed the study. Both DSA and UVA yielded similar sensitivity (97{\%} and 95{\%}) and specificity (79{\%} and 79{\%}). Two participants had fully inoperable Wisebags, and 9 had partially inoperable Wisebags. The proportion of participants considered to have high adherence (≥80{\%}) varied: 43{\%} (Wisebag), 46{\%} (UVA), 49{\%} (DSA), and 62{\%} to 82{\%} (self-reports). For estimating high adherence, Wisebag had a sensitivity of 76{\%} (95{\%} confidence interval, 50{\%}-93{\%}) and a specificity of 85{\%} (95{\%} confidence interval, 62{\%}-97{\%}) compared with DSA. Although 28{\%} of participants reported forgetting to open the Wisebag daily, 59{\%} said that it helped them remember gel use. CONCLUSIONS: Dye stain assay and UVA performed similarly. Compared with these tests, self-reports overestimated and Wisebag underestimated adherence. Although Wisebag may encourage gel use, the applicator tests currently seem more useful for measuring use in clinical trials.",
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AU - Buckley, Niall

AU - Espinoza, Lilia

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AU - Herold, Betsy

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N2 - BACKGROUND: Accurate measurement of adherence to product use is an ongoing challenge in microbicide trials. METHODS: We compared adherence estimates using 2 applicator tests (a dye stain assay [DSA] and an ultraviolet light assay [UVA]), the Wisebag (an applicator container that electronically tracks container openings), and self-reported adherence (ability, frequency, and percent missed doses). Healthy, HIV-negative, nonpregnant US women aged 23 to 45 years received a Wisebag and 32 applicators filled with placebo gel were instructed to insert 1 applicator daily for 30 days, returned the Wisebag and all applicators, and completed an exit interview. Emptied applicators were tested by UVA and then DSA, and scored by 2 blinded readers. Positive and negative controls were randomly included in applicator batches. RESULTS: Among 42 women enrolled, 39 completed the study. Both DSA and UVA yielded similar sensitivity (97% and 95%) and specificity (79% and 79%). Two participants had fully inoperable Wisebags, and 9 had partially inoperable Wisebags. The proportion of participants considered to have high adherence (≥80%) varied: 43% (Wisebag), 46% (UVA), 49% (DSA), and 62% to 82% (self-reports). For estimating high adherence, Wisebag had a sensitivity of 76% (95% confidence interval, 50%-93%) and a specificity of 85% (95% confidence interval, 62%-97%) compared with DSA. Although 28% of participants reported forgetting to open the Wisebag daily, 59% said that it helped them remember gel use. CONCLUSIONS: Dye stain assay and UVA performed similarly. Compared with these tests, self-reports overestimated and Wisebag underestimated adherence. Although Wisebag may encourage gel use, the applicator tests currently seem more useful for measuring use in clinical trials.

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