Associations of Mood on Objective and Subjective Cognitive Complaints in Persons Living with HIV/AIDS.

Academic Article


  • Healthcare workers commonly rely on patient self-report to identify problems with cognitive functioning among Persons Living with HIV (PLWH). Self-reported cognitive complaints may not accurately reflect objective cognitive performance and may be obscured by co-occurring depression. The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationships among depression, subjective cognitive complaints, and objective cognitive performance in PLWH using measures easily administered by healthcare workers. Particularly, this study assessed the association between subjective cognitive complaints (MOS-HIV) and objective cognitive performance (mHDS) using a simple screening tool, as well as whether depressive symptoms (CES-D 10) moderated this relationship. This was a secondary data analysis of a parent study that enrolled participants (N=207) from outpatient HIV clinics in Florida between 2009 and 2011. Most participants identified themselves as African American (82.6%) and heterosexual (81.6%). Almost half of the participants were male (46.4%). Fifty-one percent of participants had a score of 10 or greater on CES-D, indicating clinical depression. This study found no association between subjective and objective cognitive measures; depressive symptoms exhibited no moderating effect on the relationship between subjective cognitive complaints and objective cognitive performance. Depressive symptoms were significantly associated with subjective perceptions of cognitive ability. Results suggest that subjective cognitive complaints may be an inadequate tool for identifying objective cognitive impairments among PLWH. Additionally, treatment of depressive symptoms may help alleviate subjective cognitive complaints.
  • Keywords

  • Cognitive complaints, Cognitive function, Depression, HIV, Mood
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Yoo-Jeong M; Anderson A; Rahman AF; Baumann M; McBroom J; Waldrop-Valverde D
  • Volume

  • 4
  • Issue

  • 1