HIV infection is associated with lower health-related quality of life (HRQoL), which is influenced by immunovirological factors, negative affect, neurocognitive impairment, and functional dependence. Although apathy is a common neuropsychiatric sequela of HIV infection, emerging findings regarding its unique role in lower HRQoL have been mixed.
The present study was guided by Wilson and Cleary's (1995), model in examining the association between apathy and physical and mental HRQoL in 80 HIV+ individuals who completed a neuromedical examination, neuropsychological assessment, structured psychiatric interview, and a series of questionnaires including the SF-36. Apathy was measured using a composite of the apathy subscale of the Frontal Systems Behavioral Scale and the vigor-activation subscale of the Profile of Mood States.
Independent of major depressive disorder, neurocognitive impairment, functional status, and current CD4 count, apathy was strongly associated with HRQoL. Specifically, apathy and CD4 count were significant predictors of physical HRQoL, whereas apathy and depression were the only predictors of mental HRQoL.
All told, these findings suggest that apathy plays a unique role in HRQoL and support the importance of assessing and managing apathy in an effort to maximize health outcomes among individuals with HIV disease.
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By: Kamat R1, Woods SP1,2, Cameron MV1, Iudicello JE1; HIV Neurobehavioral Research Program (HNRP) Group.
- 1 Department of Psychiatry , University of California , San Diego , CA , 92093 , USA.
- 2 Department of Psychology , University of Houston , Houston , TX , 77004 , USA
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