Carolina Posada

University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, United States

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Publications (9)19.7 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: HIV+ persons with co-occurring bipolar disorder (HIV+/BD+) have elevated rates of medication nonadherence. We conducted a 30-day randomized controlled trial of a two-way, text messaging system, iTAB (n = 25), compared to an active comparison (CTRL) (n = 25) to improve antiretroviral (ARV) and psychotropic (PSY) adherence and dose timing. Both groups received medication adherence psychoeducation and daily texts assessing mood. The iTAB group additionally received personalized medication reminder texts. Participants responded to over 90 % of the mood and adherence text messages. Mean adherence, as assessed via electronic monitoring caps, was high and comparable between groups for both ARV (iTAB 86.2 % vs. CTRL 84.8 %; p = 0.95, Cliff's d = 0.01) and PSY (iTAB 78.9 % vs. CTRL 77.3 %; p = 0.43, Cliff's d = -0.13) medications. However, iTAB participants took ARVs significantly closer to their intended dosing time than CTRL participants (iTAB: 27.8 vs. CTRL: 77.0 min from target time; p = 0.02, Cliff's d = 0.37). There was no group difference on PSY dose timing. Text messaging interventions may represent a low-burden approach to improving timeliness of medication-taking behaviors among difficult-to-treat populations. The benefits of improved dose timing for long-term medication adherence require additional investigation.
    AIDS and Behavior 12/2014; · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Difficulties with sustained attention have been found among both persons with HIV infection (HIV+) and bipolar disorder (BD). The authors examined sustained attention among 39 HIV+ individuals with BD (HIV+/BD+) and 33 HIV-infected individuals without BD (HIV+/BD-), using the Conners' Continuous Performance Test-II (CPT-II). A Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) score was also assigned to each participant as an overall indicator of daily functioning abilities. HIV+/BD+ participants had significantly worse performance on CPT-II omission errors, hit reaction time SE (Hit RT SE), variability of SE, and perseverations than HIV+/BD- participants. When examining CPT-II performance over the six study blocks, both HIV+/BD+ and HIV+/BD- participants evidenced worse performance on scores of commission errors and reaction times as the test progressed. The authors also examined the effect of current mood state (i.e., manic, depressive, euthymic) on CPT-II performance, but no significant differences were observed across the various mood states. HIV+/BD+ participants had significantly worse GAF scores than HIV+/BD- participants, which indicates poorer overall functioning in the dually-affected group; among HIV+/BD+ persons, significant negative correlations were found between GAF scores and CPT-II omission and commission errors, detectability, and perseverations, indicating a possible relationship between decrements in sustained attention and worse daily-functioning outcomes.
    The Journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences 12/2012; 24(1):61-70. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic methamphetamine (MA) use is commonly associated with neural injury and neurocognitive deficits. The authors examined the nature and correlates of self-reported neurobehavioral symptoms (e.g., apathy, disinhibition, and executive dysfunction) in 73 individuals with histories of MA dependence (MA+) and 85 comparison participants with comparable demographics and risk histories. MA+ individuals endorsed significantly more severe neurobehavioral symptoms on the Frontal Systems Behavioral Scale, especially those of disinhibition and executive dysfunction. Elevations in neurobehavioral symptoms were independent of common comorbidities, including hepatitis C infection, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorders, and other substance-use factors. Notably, the severity of neurobehavioral symptoms was uniquely associated with self-reported decrements in instrumental activities of daily living in the MA-dependent sample. Findings indicate that chronic MA users may experience elevated neurobehavioral symptoms of disinhibition and executive dysfunction, potentially increasing their risk of functional declines.
    The Journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences 06/2012; 24(3):331-339. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Episodic memory deficits are common in HIV infection and bipolar disorder, but patient insight into such deficits remains unclear. Thirty-four HIV-infected individuals without bipolar disorder (HIV+/BD-) and 47 HIV+ individuals with comorbid bipolar disorder (HIV+/BD+) were administered the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test-Revised and the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised to examine objective learning/memory functioning. Subjective memory complaints were assessed via the memory subscale of the Patient's Assessment of Own Functioning Inventory. HIV+/BD+ individuals performed poorer on tests of visual learning and visual/verbal recall than did HIV+/BD- participants (ps < .05). Memory complaints only predicted verbal learning (at a trend level, p = .10) and recall (p = .03) among the HIV+/BD- individuals. Memory complaints were not associated with memory performance within the HIV+/BD+ group (ps > .10). Memory complaints were associated with depressive symptoms in both groups (ps < 0.05). These complaints were also predictive of immunosuppression, higher unemployment, and greater dependence on activities of daily living among the HIV+/BD+ individuals (ps < .05). Awareness of memory abilities was particularly poor among HIV+/BD+ individuals (i.e., objective learning/memory did not correspond to reported complaints), which has important implications for the capacity of these individuals to engage in error-monitoring and compensatory strategies in daily life. Memory complaints are associated with depressed mood regardless of group membership. Among HIV+/BD+ individuals, these complaints may also signify worse HIV disease status and problems with everyday functioning. Clinicians and researchers should be cognizant of what these complaints indicate in order to lead treatment most effectively; use of objective neurocognitive assessments may still be warranted when working with these populations.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 05/2012; 34(7):773-81. · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The contribution of bipolar disorder (BD), a prevalent serious mental illness characterized by impulsivity and mood instability, to antiretroviral (ART) and psychiatric medication adherence among HIV-infected (HIV+) individuals is unknown. We examined medication adherence among 44 HIV+/BD+ persons as compared to 33 demographically- and medically-comparable HIV+/BD- persons. Classification of adherent (≥90%) or non-adherent (<90%) based on proportion of correctly taken doses over 30 days was determined using electronic medication monitoring devices. HIV+/BD+ persons were significantly less likely to be ART adherent (47.7%) as compared to HIV+/BD- (90.9%) persons. Within the HIV+/BD+ group, mean psychiatric medication adherence was significantly worse than ART medication adherence, although there was a significant correlation between ART and psychiatric adherence levels. Importantly, 30-day ART adherence was associated with plasma virologic response among HIV+/BD+ individuals. Given the high overlap of HIV and BD, and the observed medication adherence difficulties for these persons, specialized adherence improvement interventions are needed.
    AIDS and Behavior 10/2011; 16(8):2257-2266. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is neurovirulent and has been shown to be associated with neuropsychological (NP) deficits in a subset of infected individuals. Despite these previous findings, little work has been done to examine neurobehavioral symptoms associated with HCV infection. We examined 34 HCV seropositive (HCV+) individuals and 35 healthy comparison participants (HCV-) with the self-rating form of the Frontal Systems Behavior Scale (FrSBe). Results showed that at the group level, only the FrSBe apathy subscale mean was clinically elevated (T score >65) among HCV+ persons; executive dysfunction, disinhibition, and total subscale means were not clinically elevated. At the individual level, a significantly higher proportion of HCV+ individuals than of HCV- individuals reported clinically elevated FrSBe T scores . Moreover, HCV+ individuals were nearly 3 times as likely to report clinically elevated FrSBe T scores of apathy, executive dysfunction, and disinhibition as compared to HCV- participants. A multiple regression that included substance use disorders, neuropsychological impairment, and age indicated that HCV status was an independent predictor of self-reported FrSBe total T scores. Across all participants, small, yet significant, correlations were found between elevated self-reported FrsBe T scores and dependence in activities of daily living. These results show that a subset of HCV-infected individuals report clinically elevated behavioral symptoms. Clinical implications for the assessment and management of elevated behavioral symptoms in HCV are discussed.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 07/2010; 32(6):637-44. · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence is increasing that the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is neurovirulent. Neuroimaging studies suggest that individuals with HCV infection show alterations in the structure and function of several neural systems, most notably the frontostriatal circuits. Several studies also demonstrated evidence of cognitive impairment across a variety of ability areas in about 30% to 40% of HCV-infected individuals. Although certain comorbidities (eg, substance abuse, HIV coinfection, neuropsychiatric symptoms) may increase the risk of neurocognitive deficits in HCV-positive individuals, it appears that neurocognitive impairment is present in HCV-positive individuals without significant comorbidities. We provide an overview of the neurocognitive effects of HCV infection and present empirical evidence examining episodic memory abilities in HCV-positive individuals. The results of our study indicate that HCV-positive individuals have difficulties learning new verbal and visual information, but are nevertheless able to retain and recognize the information they have learned. Implications for everyday functioning are discussed.
    Current Hepatitis Reports 01/2009; 8:18-26.
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    ABSTRACT: Spanish speakers commonly use two versions of the alphabet, one that includes the sound "Ch" between C and D and another that goes directly to D, as in English. Versions of the Trail Making Test Part B (TMT-B) have been created accordingly to accommodate this preference. The pattern and total number of circles to be connected are identical between versions. However, the equivalency of these alternate forms has not been reported. We compared the performance of 35 healthy Spanish speakers who completed the "Ch" form (CH group) to that of 96 individuals who received the standard form (D group), based on whether they mentioned "Ch" in their oral recitation of the alphabet. The groups had comparable demographic characteristics and overall neuropsychological performance. There were no significant differences in TMT-B scores between the CH and D groups, and relationships with demographic variables were comparable. The findings suggest that both versions are equivalent and can be administered to Spanish speakers based on their preference without sacrificing comparability.
    The Clinical Neuropsychologist 08/2008; 22(4):662-5. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Research increasingly supports the neurovirulence of chronic infection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). For example, HCV infection has been associated with neuropsychological impairment in several ability areas, including psychomotor skills. This study aimed to examine whether HCV-associated neuropsychological impairment is predictive of declines in the independent performance of physical (PADLs) and instrumental (IADLs) activities of daily living. A total of 106 volunteers with HCV infection completed a comprehensive neuropsychological, medical, and psychiatric research evaluation. As compared to 30 HCV-seronegative comparison participants, the HCV-infected group reported significantly greater declines in both PADLs and IADLs. Within the HCV cohort, individuals with impaired speed of information processing reported significantly greater IADL declines, whereas impaired fine-motor coordination was associated with declines in both IADLs and PADLs. In a series of regression analyses, impaired speed of information processing and depressive symptoms (as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory) were the only independent predictors of IADL declines, whereas general affective distress (as measured by the Profile of Mood States), sex, and fine-motor coordination impairment were predictive of declines in PADLs. Although the clinical assessment of HCV typically emphasizes both affective (e.g., depression) and physical factors, findings from the present study suggest that cognitive impairment is an important contributor to everyday functioning in persons living with HCV infection and therefore warrants consideration in clinical and research evaluations.
    Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology 04/2008; 30(7):805-15. · 2.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It has been hypothesized that nouns and verbs are processed within relatively separable semantic memory networks. Although abnormal semantic processing is a common feature of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, no prior studies have specifically examined the comparability of noun and verb generation deficits in schizophrenia. In the current study, verb (action), noun (animal), and letter (f) fluency performance was evaluated in 22 inpatients with schizophrenia and 27 healthy comparison subjects. On average, individuals with schizophrenia performed approximately one standard deviation below the healthy comparison subjects on action, animal, and letter fluency. Action fluency-but not letter or animal fluency-was moderately correlated with tests of working memory, response inhibition, semantic memory, and cognitive flexibility. Findings suggest that verb- and noun-based fluency deficits are of comparable severity in schizophrenia, but that the impairment in verb generation may be driven by different underlying cognitive mechanisms. Further, hypothesis-driven research on the nature and extent of verb network disruption in schizophrenia appears warranted.
    Brain and Language 08/2007; 102(1):46-51. · 3.39 Impact Factor