This study evaluated how clinicians assess antiretroviral (ARV) adherence in clinical encounters, and which questions elicit accurate responses. We conducted conversation analysis of audio-recorded encounters between 34 providers and 58 patients reporting ARV non-adherence in post-encounter interviews. Among 42 visits where adherence status was unknown by providers, 4 providers did not discuss ARVs (10 %), 6 discussed ARVs but did not elicit non-adherence disclosure (14 %), and 32 discussed ARVs which prompted disclosure (76 %). Questions were classified as: (1) clarification of medication (“Are you still taking the Combivir?”); (2) broad (“How’s it going with your meds?”); (3) positively-framed (“Are you taking your medications regularly?”); (4) negatively-framed (“Have you missed any doses?”). Clinicians asked 75 ARV-related questions: 23 clarification, 12 broad, 17 positively-framed, and 23 negatively-framed. Negatively-framed questions were 3.8 times more likely to elicit accurate disclosure than all other question types (p < 0.0001). Providers can improve disclosure probability by asking directly about missed doses.
- Physician-patient communication
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases