Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine
Annotated Abstracts of Journal Articles
Annotations by John Grimaldi, MD and Mary Ann Cohen, MD, FAPM
PUBLICATION #1 — HIV Psychiatry
Persistent CSF but not plasma HIV RNA is associated with increased risk of new-onset moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms; a prospective cohort study
Hammond ER, Crum RM, Treisman GJ, Mehta SH, Clifford DB, Ellis RJ
J Neurovirol. 2016 Jan 4 [Epub ahead of print]
The finding:This study utilized data from the CNS HIV Anti-retroviral Therapy Effects Research (CHARTER) cohort, involving participants enrolled 2004-2007 and followed through 2009 every 6 months, to evaluate the association between CSF HIV RNA and incident moderate-to-severe depression and the effect of CSF HIV RNA on subsequent Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI II) scores. The authors found that the risk of new onset moderate-to-severe depressive symptoms (BDI II >=17) adjusted for plasma HIV RNA and adherence to cART was over 4 times higher in participants with detectable CSF HIV RNA (>50 copies/ml), (adjusted HR 4.76, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.58-14.3, p=0.006). Similarly, detectable CSF HIV RNA was associated with a BDI II score 2.53 points higher at the subsequent study visit after adjusting for covariates. BDI II scores increase for participants with detectable CSF HIV RNA in contrast to participants with undetectable CSF HIV RNA whose BDI II scores decrease. There was no association between plasma HIV RNA and incident depression or BDI II scores over time.
Strength and weaknesses: This study is one of the largest prospective studies to evaluate CSF HIV RNA over time and its association with depression as well as other CNS-related disorders such as neurocognitive impairment, hepatitis C and alcohol and substance use disorders. Because of the small numbers of participants with detectable CSF HIV RNA at baseline, a dose-response association was not detected. Also the majority of participants were men thus limiting applicability to women who may experience higher rates of depressive symptoms. The prevalence of current substance use disorder was extremely low 0.9% so that applicability to other populations with high prevalence of current use may be limited.
Relevance: This study adds to the expanding body of knowledge linking depression with CNS neuroinflammatory processes. It also further strengthens the rationale for routine depression screening in persons with HIV. CSF testing may also play a role in refining management of worsening depression and depression refractory to conventional treatment.
PUBLICATION #2 — HIV Psychiatry
Prevalence of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study
Sacktor N, Skolasky RL, Seaberg E, et al
Neurology 2016; 86(4):334-340
The finding: Using data from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) a prospective study of gay and bisexual men, the authors found that from 2007 to 2011 HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) are common in HIV-infected individuals receiving cART with rates of between 25% and 33%. The majority of individuals with minor neurocognitive disorder (MND) and HIV-associated dementia (HAD) and virologic suppression did not progress. However, there was a significant increase in frequency of asymptomatic neurocognitive impairment (ANI) from 8% in 2009-2010 to 19% in 20-11-2012 (p=0.016). A diagnosis of ANI conferred a 2-fold associated increase in risk of progressing to MND or HAD compared to a diagnosis of normal cognition.
Strength and weaknesses: This large prospective study of HIV-infected individuals receiving cART used revised 2007 HAND criteria with full neuropsychological test batteries and standardized functional assessments every 2 years to evaluate the frequency of HAND. The MACS cohort included gay and bisexual men only thus results may not be applicable to other demographic groups, especially women. Practice effects from administration of neuropychological batteries on multiple occasions could have reduced overall prevalence rates or rates of progression of neurocognitive dysfunction. Confounding conditions such as hypertension and diabetes may have influenced observed rates of HAND.
Relevance: This study adds to the growing evidence that neurocognitive impairment remains a common problem in chronically HIV-infected individuals despite adequate virologic control. However rates of HAND in the MACS cohort were somewhat lower than that observed in the CHARTER cohort, 25%-33% vs 40%-50%. This difference likely reflects demographic and clinical differences between these cohorts.
PUBLICATION #3 — HIV Psychiatry
Factors influencing the delivery of HIV-related services to severely mentally ill individuals: the provider's perspective
Biradavolu M, Jia Y, Withers K, Kapetanovic S
Psychosomatics 2016; 57(1):64-70
The finding: Using qualitative analysis of focus groups comprising medical, psychiatric and community-based organizations serving individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) in Washington D.C., the authors describe patient-related factors, stigma and administrative factors that impede and facilitate HIV testing, prevention and retention in HIV care across the full continuum of psychiatric services. Compared to psychiatric emergency departments and acute psychiatric inpatient and outpatient services, chronic inpatient psychiatric hospitals are better positioned to offer HIV testing without psychiatric complications, and achieve full sustained integration of HIV and psychiatric services and satisfactory virologic and immunologic outcomes. Lessons learned from this model of care can be applied to other less restrictive settings.
Strength and weaknesses: Focus groups offer valuable insight into differences among categories of interviewees that may lead to better coordination of care and improved HIV and mental health outcomes. The results of this DC-based study may not generalize to other urban areas. Also, the study may have been biased in selection of participants and did not include the view point of individuals with SMI.
Relevance: The study adds to the limited evidence base for best practices regarding HIV testing and engagement and retention in care for individuals with SMI. It also may inform future research aimed at developing strategies for integrating HIV and mental health services.
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