Utility of the HIV dementia scale in assessing risk for significant HIV-related cognitive-motor deficits in a high-risk urban adult sample.

Division of Psychiatry, Department of Psychology, Boston University School of Medicine, MA 02215, USA.
AIDS Care (Impact Factor: 1.6). 11/2005; 17(8):1013-21. DOI: 10.1080/09540120500100858
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Considerable literature reflects the range of HIV-related neurocognitive complications, including relatively poor performance on tests of: movement and coordination; attention and concentration; reaction time; and mental flexibility. Efforts to develop appropriate screening techniques include the HIV Dementia Scale (HDS), a brief measure that has demonstrated promise but is lacking extensive independent evaluation. The present study examines the utility of the HDS in a sample of HIV-seropositive adults with a co-morbid history of psychiatric and substance use disorders. Forty subjects (65% male; mean age 41 years; mean education 12.2 years; 55% African American, 30% Caucasian) recruited for a study of the impact of brief psychotherapy on adherence to medications and medical appointments, relapse prevention, and/or enhancement of mental health functioning completed a battery of neuropsychological measures, including the HDS. Forty percent were identified as at high risk for significant cognitive-motor disorder (HDS total score < or =10). After controlling for age, education, illness (absolute CD4), and depressed mood, high-risk participants performed significantly worse on measures of simple and sustained divided attention, psychomotor speed, and working memory. However, only 25 of 40 (63%) were correctly classified based on their performance on traditional tests of neuropsychological functioning. Implications and limitations of the study are discussed.

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    ABSTRACT: HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) persist despite great advancements in combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). The gold standard for diagnosing cognitive impairment consists of a time-consuming neuropsychological battery of tests given by a trained neuropsychologist, however in the outpatient HIV clinic this is not feasible. The International HIV Dementia Scale (IHDS) was developed to help identify individuals with cognitive impairment in the outpatient setting. The IHDS is moderately sensitive for detecting more symptomatic forms of HAND but sensitivity has been shown to be poor in mild impairment. The IHDS has not been evaluated in developed countries in large cohort populations. We conducted a prospective cross-sectional study of only HIV+ individuals in an urban clinic and evaluated the prevalence of HAND and associated risk factors for cognitive impairment using the IHDS. A total of 507 HIV+ individuals participated in the study of which the majority were male (65 %) and African American (68 %); and 41 % had cognitive impairment. On multivariate analysis, African American race (p = 2.21), older age (p = 1.03), high school education or less (p = 2.03) and depression (p = 1.05) were associated with cognitive impairment. The high prevalence of HAND in this group suggests that more severe forms of HAND persist despite cART. Identified risk factors were non-HIV-related and suggest that environmental and sociodemographic factors have a significant impact on cognitive functioning and should be given more attention. The IHDS should be further evaluated in large cohort HIV+ and HIV- populations in the United States, as there remains a significant need to identify an effective brief screening tool for cognitive impairment.
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