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Publication Abstract Display
Type: Poster
Title: Factors related to medication management abilities in older adults with HIV: A pilot study.
Authors: Fazeli P, Blackstone K, Rooney A, Moore DJ, and the HNRP Group
Date: 02-06-2013
Abstract:Objective: Although HIV-associated dementia has decreased since the advent of combination antiretroviral therapy, the prevalence of subtle cognitive dysfunction has remained. Studies have suggested that such cognitive dysfunction is related to poorer everyday functioning abilities (e.g., medication nonadherence). The purpose of this of this preliminary study was to examine possible correlates, including neurocognitive abilities, of medication management in an older HIV sample. Method: Twenty-six older (mean age = 60.5) HIV-infected participants completed a comprehensive neuropsychological battery summarized using a Global Deficit Score approach as well as a performance-based task of pill-dispensing abilities (Cognitive Screening for Medication Self-Management, Spiers, 1994). Data were also gathered for demographic and HIV disease characteristics. Due to the preliminary nature of these data, strength of association data are primarily reported (i.e., Spearman’s correlations and Hedge’s g). Results: Results revealed that the strongest correlates of poorer pill-dispensing abilities were having an AIDS diagnosis (g = -0.85) and lower education level (ρ = 0.30), which trended towards significance (p-values < 0.15). Worse global neurocognitive performance (ρ = -0.22) and lower current CD4 count (ρ = 0.21) were moderately related to poorer pill-dispensing abilities, but were not significant. Discussion: These preliminary findings suggest that older adults with more advanced HIV disease may have particular difficulties in managing HIV medications, which may in turn further progress disease. Additionally, higher education may serve as a protective factor to poor pill-dispensing abilities. Although neurocognitive functioning was not among the strongest predictors in this pilot study, further research is needed to understand the cognitive mechanisms underlying optimal medication management abilities in older individuals living with HIV.

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