Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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Mapping the use of Group-Based Trajectory Modelling in medication adherence research: A scoping review protocol [version 2; peer review: 3 approved]

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posted on 2022-09-23, 15:44 authored by Caroline A Walsh, Sara Mucherino, Valentina Orlando, Kathleen BennettKathleen Bennett, Enrica Menditto, Caitriona CahirCaitriona Cahir

The use of group-based trajectory modelling (GBTM) within the medication adherence literature is rapidly growing. Researchers are adopting enhanced methods to analyse and visualise dynamic behaviours, such as medication adherence, within 'real-world' populations. Application of GBTM based on longitudinal adherence behaviour allows for the identification of adherence trajectories or groups. A group is conceptually thought of a collection of individuals who follow a similar pattern of adherence behaviour over a period of time. A common obstacle faced by researchers when implementing GBTM is deciding on the number of trajectory groups that may exist within a population. Decision-making can introduce subjectivity, as there is no 'gold standard' for model selection criteria. This study aims to examine the extent and nature of existing evidence on the application of GBTM for medication adherence assessment, providing an overview of the different GBTM techniques used in the literature. The methodological framework will consist of five stages: i) identify the research question(s); ii) identify relevant studies; iii) select studies; iv) chart the data and finally, v) collate, summarise and report the results. Original peer-reviewed articles, published in English, describing observational and interventional studies including both concepts and/or sub-concepts of GBTM and medication adherence or any other similar terms, will be included. The following databases will be queried: PubMed/MEDLINE; Embase (Ovid); SCOPUS; ISI Web of Science and PsychInfo. This scoping review will utilise the PRISMA extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) tool to report results. This scoping review will collect and schematise different techniques in the application of GBTM for medication adherence assessment available in the literature to date, identifying research and knowledge gaps in this area. This review can represent an important tool for future research, providing methodological support to researchers carrying out a group-based trajectory analysis to assess medication adherence in a real-world context. 


Health Research Board Ireland [RL-2015-1579, SPHeRE/2013/1]



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Published Citation

Walsh CA. et al. Mapping the use of Group-Based Trajectory Modelling in medication adherence research: A scoping review protocol. [version 2; peer review: 3 approved] HRB Open Res. 2020;3:25.

Publication Date

5 August 2020

PubMed ID



  • Data Science Centre


F1000 Research Ltd


  • N/A