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ESPACOMP Medication Adherence Reporting Guidelines (EMERGE)


EMERGE is an initiative taken by a working group (EMERGE steering committee) of members of the European Society for Patient Adherence, COMpliance, and Persistence (ESPACOMP) to develop guidelines for reporting quantitative studies of medication adherence. EMERGE are meant to be an addition to the existing guidelines for health research reporting such as STROBE, CONSORT, CHEERS and TIDier guidelines.


The guidelines were developed using the ABC taxonomy for medication adherence as the conceptual basis. An initial item list was developed by the EMERGE steering committee through an iterative process (i.e. an in-person meeting for initial item generation followed by structured review rounds via email and conference calls) followed by 2 Delphi rounds with 26 international adherence experts from 15 countries and from different disciplines.


EMERGE will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications and presentations at conferences. The steering committee will also encourage endorsement of the guidelines by registering EMERGE at the EQUATOR network.


EMERGE consist of 21 items organized in 2 sections: the first section includes 4 items, reflecting the conceptualization of medication adherence as put forward by the ABC taxonomy for medication adherence. These items represent the minimum reporting criteria that are considered crucial to be reported in each publication, regardless of the format of the publication, in order for medication adherence research to advance benefiting from the conceptualization provided by the ABC taxonomy.


The second section consists of 17 items specific to medication adherence reporting and organized in a way congruent with the sections of reporting guidelines for observational and experimental study types (i.e. STROBE and CONSORT). Redundancy with the existing guidelines has been avoided by including items that are specific to medication adherence. Authors therefore will need to use the main reporting guidelines for their study type (e.g. STROBE and CONSORT) and combine these with EMERGE. Items included in EMERGE are thus applicable to different types of methodologies.


For more information about the EMERGE Delphi study, please check its protocol.

For more information, please contact us at:

EMERGE guidelines, Items List

EMERGE publication

Reporting Guidelines


The EMERGE steering committee:

Prof. Dr. Sabina De Geest (Institute of Nursing Science, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland & Academic Centre for Nursing and Midwifery, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)

Prof. Dr. Jacqueline Dunbar-Jacob (School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA)

Mr. Remon Helmy (Institute of Nursing Science, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland)

Prof. Dr. Dyfrig A. Hughes (Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation, Bangor University, Bangor, UK)

Prof. Dr. Bernard Vrijens (Department of Public Health, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium & WestRock Healthcare, Visé, Belgium)

Prof. Dr. Ira B. Wilson (Department of Health Services, Policy & Practice, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI, USA)

Prof. Dr. Leah L. Zullig (Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA & Department of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA)

Date meeting
2017-01-19 → 2017-01-19