Advances in the pharmacological treatment of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
have resulted in an exponential increase in the number of older individuals living with HIV.
However, despite a longer lifespan, milder forms of neuropsychological deficits have been
reported. This has implications for the quality of life and everyday functioning in older
cohorts with HIV.
The aim of this exploratory study was to investigate the relationship between health-related
quality of life (HRQoL), and neuropsychological outcomes in older adults with HIV. Other
study objectives included exploring the associations between neuropsychological
performance and HRQoL with clinical variables. Participants were recruited through
convenience sampling at a semi-urban community clinic. Thirty-four older individuals with
HIV were administered a socio-demographic questionnaire, the EQ-5D 5L HRQoL measure
and comprehensive neuropsychological battery, comprising the Dementia Rating Scale-2
(DRS-2); Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT); Stroop Colour and Word Test, and the Trail
Making Test of the Delis-Kaplain Executive Function System (DKEFS TMT).
Results indicated specific, significant associations between self-reported anxiety/depression,
pain/discomfort, self-care, and neuropsychological outcomes. Also, significant associations
were noted between clinical variables and four of the neuropsychological measures and two
of the health-related quality-of-life variables. Exploratory cluster analysis revealed that age
and clinical variables may serve as possible moderator variables.