Informing adults with HIV of cognitive performance deficits indicative of hiv-associated neurocognitive disorder a content analysis

Academic Article


  • Approximately 50% of persons with HIV (PWH) meet the cognitive criteria for HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND). Informing PWH they may have HAND raises concerns given the lack of consensus-derived treatment options and overall knowledge about HAND. Thus, the current qualitative descriptive study aimed to describe PWHs’ reactions to a possible diagnosis of HAND. Cognitive tests were administered to 135 PWH to determine whether they met the criteria for HAND. From 135 PWH, 109 (80.7%) participants met the cognitive criteria and were informed about their probable HAND diagnosis. Approximately 2 months later, the remaining 85 participants (24 were lost to attrition) were asked about their reac-tions and concerns to receiving a probable diagnosis of HAND. Their responses were thematically coded. Themes that emerged were Desire to Improve, Confirmation, Not Concerned/No Reaction, Concerned, Unexpected, Anxiety, Knowledge Seeking, and Sadness. Most themes were positive or neutral, whereas fewer negative themes were observed. Thematic/content analysis appeared to show that most PWH reacted well to their probable diagnosis and were open to ways to improve their brain health. Such openness represents a window to provide health education to patients. Implications for practice and research are provided.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Vance DE; Jensen M; Tende F; Walker TJ; Robinson J; Diehl D; Fogger SA; Fazeli PL
  • Start Page

  • 48
  • End Page

  • 55
  • Volume

  • 57
  • Issue

  • 12