Neurocognitive performance and quality of life in patients with HIV infection

Valerio Tozzi, Marina Costa, Alessandro Sampaolesi, Massimo Fantoni, Pasquale Noto, Giuseppe Ippolito, Robert W. Wu, Pietro Balestra, Simonetta Galgani, Rita Murri, Rita Bellagamba, Pasquale Narciso, Andrea Antinori, Marinella Giulianelli, Gherardo Tosi

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76 Scopus citations


We examined the relationship of HIV-related cognitive impairment and health-related quality of life (QoL). Subjects were administered measures of cognitive function (a battery of 17 neuropsychological tests) and of QoL (the MOS-HIV questionnaire). Study measures also included comprehensive clinical and neurological evaluation, laboratory testing, and brain imaging studies in patients with impaired neuropsychological evaluation. One-hundred and eleven subjects were examined. Cognitively impaired patients (33.3%) reported poorer QoL scores in all domains (p < 0.05): physical health summary score (PHS) (44.6 vs. 49.9), mental health summary score (MHS) (37.7 vs. 44.4), pain (67.6 vs. 79.4), physical functioning (75.9 vs. 87.7), role functioning (32.4 vs. 41.5), social functioning (70.3 vs. 83.5), mental health (48.2 vs. 61.0), energy (53.1 vs. 63.0), health distress (60.8 vs. 75.5), cognitive functioning (CF) (60.5 vs. 71.8), general health perceptions (29.2 vs. 43.4), and QoL (36.5 vs. 47.0). The number of altered neuropsychological tests correlated significantly with MHS (p < 0.001), PHS (p < 0.03), CF (p < 0.02), and QoL (p < 0.02) scores. A correlation between seven of seven neuropsychological measures exploring speed of mental processing, three of four exploring mental flexibility, four of six exploring memory, and two of two exploring fine motor functioning and MHS, PHS, CF, or QoL scores was also found. Poor performance on the Digit Symbol test was most strongly associated with poor MHS (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.01-1.08, p < 0.009) and PHS (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.01-1.08, p < 0.01) scores, controlling for CD4 count, previous AIDS diagnosis, receiving HAART, and drug abuse. Cognitive impairment is associated with poor QoL. People with more severe cognitive impairment have the highest probability of having a poor QoL. Cognitive impairment in any cognitive domain explored in our battery is also associated with poor QoL. Poor performance on the Digit Symbol Test is the strongest predictor of poor QoL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-652
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS research and human retroviruses
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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