Potential impacts of poor communication on early diagnosis of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder
Cummins, D, Waters, D, Aggar, C & O'Connor, CC in press, 'Potential impacts of poor communication on early diagnosis of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder', Journal of Advanced Nursing.
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Aim: To ascertain whether community-based healthcare providers were collecting appropriate information to identify patients at risk of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder and whether related documentation was complete. Background: HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder is a treatable neurological condition that can affect more than 20% of those infected with the HIV. Signs and symptoms of cognitive impairment may be subtle; therefore, documentation of medical and social information could be beneficial in identifying those at risk. Design: Cross-sectional descriptive study. Methods: An audit of patient records was completed by two community-based interdisciplinary teams with particular attention to the documentation of clinical and social indicators for those at risk of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder. Data were collected over weeks during 2015. Results: Data were retrieved from both electronic medical record systems and hard copy patient records. Documentation was incomplete in every patient record (N = 262), including the absence of important clinical data relating to nadir CD4 + T-cell count (91%), HIV viral load (36%), current caregiver (19%), and living circumstances (14%). Up to 40% of recorded medications and results were uncon- firmed by the person’s medical practitioner. Conclusion: Poor documentation can lead to incomplete information, which can delay early intervention for those at risk of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder. Collection and recording of patient data needs to be consistent, as complete documentation is essential for integrating care, provision of clinical support and, importantly, for identifying those at risk of developing HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder