The functional impact of HIV-associated neuropsychological impairment in Spanish-speaking adults: a pilot study

TitleThe functional impact of HIV-associated neuropsychological impairment in Spanish-speaking adults: a pilot study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsRivera-Mindt, M, Cherner, M, Marcotte, TD, Moore, D, Bentley, H, Esquivel, MM, Lopez, Y, Grant, I, Heaton, RK
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Date Published02/2003
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Automobile Driving, Cultural Characteristics, Hispanic Americans, Internal

Among English-speaking adults, HIV-associated neuropsychological (NP) impairments have been associated with problems in everyday functioning, including ability to function at work and drive an automobile. Latinos account for a disproportionate number of HIV/AIDS cases nationwide, and a significant segment of this population is primarily Spanish speaking. We have previously developed an assessment that evaluates English-speakers on a variety of instrumental activities of daily living. In this pilot study, we used Spanish-language translations of our functional battery to investigate the cultural relevance of such measures, and to explore relationships between NP status and ability to perform important everyday tasks in HIV-infected Spanish-speakers. Sixteen HIV-infected monolingual Spanish-speaking adults received comprehensive, Spanish language NP testing and functional assessments included the following domains: Medication Management, Cooking, Finances, Shopping, and Restaurant Scenario. Results revealed that most of the functional tasks appeared culturally relevant and appropriate with minor modifications. NP-impaired participants were significantly more functionally impaired compared to NP-normals (88% vs. 13%, p <.01). Performances on the functional assessment and the NP battery were also related to indicators of real world functioning, including employment status and quality of life. These results, though preliminary, suggest that Spanish language functional assessments are potentially valid tools for detecting everyday functioning deficits associated with NP impairments in HIV-infected Spanish-speakers.