Aging and HIV infection: the relationship between neuropsychological and vocational functioning.

Type: Poster
Title: Aging and HIV infection: the relationship between neuropsychological and vocational functioning.
Authors: Henninger DE, Byrd D, Franklin D, Heaton RK, Morgello S, Rivera-Mindt M, and the CHARTER Group
Date: 2006
Abstract:While research supports the use of neuropsychological measures to predict ‘real-world’ function (i.e., vocational functioning and activities of daily living) among younger and middle-aged HIV+ adults, no studies have evaluated the validity of using neuropsychological measures for this purpose among older HIV+ adults. The objective of this study was to determine whether neuropsychological measures would demonstrate comparable utility in predicting vocational functioning among younger and older HIV+ adults. Methods: All participants (N=111), including 73 younger adults (all < 36 years; M=31.32, SD=3.19) and 38 older adults (all > 49 years; M=53.79, SD=3.23), underwent comprehensive neuromedical, neuropsychological, and vocational evaluations. The neuropsychological (NP) evaluation assessed verbal skills, attention/ working memory, processing speed, learning, memory, motor and abstraction/executive functioning. Vocational functioning was evaluated with the Valpar Vocational Assessment (VVA). Results: There was no difference between groups on proportion of participants with Global NP impairment based on clinical ratings of Global NP functioning (X2 = 2.17, p>.10). Correlational analyses revealed that Global NP functioning was comparable in predicting VVA Total Scores among both the younger (r = -0.72, p <.01) and older groups (r = -0.62, p<.01; Z = 0.88, p >.05). Separate regression analyses revealed that a model of the seven NP domain clinical ratings was also comparable in predicting VVA Total Scores among younger (R2=0.66, p<.01) and older groups (R2= 0.56, p <.01; Z= 0.81, p >.05). Conclusions: This study provides support for the ecological validity of neuropsychological test measures in the prediction of vocational function among older HIV+ adults.