Perceptions of Brain Health and Cognition in Older African Americans and Caucasians With HIV: A Focus Group Study.

Academic Article


  • As people age with HIV, cognitive problems may become more prevalent and severe, but lifestyle behaviors (i.e., physical activity) have been shown to protect brain health and cognition. We examined the perceptions that older adults living with HIV have about protecting and improving brain health and cognition through lifestyle behaviors. Qualitative data were analyzed from four focus groups (N = 30) of African Americans and Caucasians living with HIV and at least 50 years of age. An open-coding scheme using conventional content analysis was employed. Two results were found. First, many older adults with HIV in our study expressed a variety of cognitive complaints that interfered with daily function. Second, these participants reported few specific ideas about how such health behaviors were important to their own brain health and cognition. Education interventions may help older adults with HIV learn to improve and protect brain health and cognition as they age.
  • Keywords

  • HIV, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND), brain fitness, cognitive aging, cognitive fitness, African Americans, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Aging, Brain, Cognition, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Focus Groups, HIV Infections, Health Behavior, Humans, Life Style, Male, Perception, Qualitative Research
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Vance DE; Gakumo CA; Childs GD; Enah C; Fazeli PL
  • Start Page

  • 862
  • End Page

  • 876
  • Volume

  • 28
  • Issue

  • 6