Screening for HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Impairment: Relevance of Psychological Factors and Era of Commencement of Antiretroviral Therapy

S. Herrmann, E. McKinnon, M. Skinner, M. Duracinsky, R. Chaney, V. Locke, F. Mastaglia

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Neurocognitive impairment (NCI) is common in people aging with HIV and can adversely affect health-related quality of life. However, early NCI may be largely asymptomatic and neurocognitive function is rarely assessed in the context of routine clinical care. In this study, we considered the utility of two assessment tools as screens for NCI in patients attending a community-based clinic (N = 58; mean age = 57 years): the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and a 3-item cognitive concerns questionnaire derived from the HIV Dementia Scale. Health-related quality of life and depression/anxiety were also measured. Indication of NCI using the MoCA was more prevalent compared to the 3-item questionnaire and was associated with the patients' initial antiretroviral therapy commencing between the years of 1997 and 2001, independently of age. Findings of the MoCA were not confounded by existing mood disorders, unlike the 3-item questionnaire. Therefore, we suggest implementing the MoCA as an initial screen for NCI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-50
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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