AIDS Behav 2011 Nov;15(8):1888-94
Neuropsychology Lab, VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System, CA 90073, USA.
Neuropsychological (NP) dysfunction has been linked to poor medication adherence among HIV-infected adults. However, there is a dearth of research examining longitudinal changes in the relationship between NP status and adherence rates. We hypothesized that declines in NP functioning would be associated with a corresponding decline in medication adherence while stable NP functioning would be associated with stable or improving adherence rates. Participants included 215 HIV-infected adults who underwent cognitive testing at study entry and six months later. Compared to the NP stable group, the NP decline group showed a greater drop in adherence rates. Further analysis revealed that, beyond global NP, learning and memory was significantly associated with changes in adherence rates. These findings further support the link between cognitive functioning and medication adherence and illustrates the importance of documenting changes in cognitive abilities for identifying individuals at risk for poor adherence.