Assessing Risk of HIV Associated Neurocognitive Disorder

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Cummins, D, Waters, D, Aggar, C & O'Connor CC, In press, 'Assessing risk of HIV associated neurocognitive disorder, Nursing Research.


People with HIV (PLHIV) are aging and 20% are at risk of developing a neurological complication known as HIV associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND). Signs and symptoms of HAND may be subtle, however treatment can improve clinical outcomes.To identify and agree on a risk assessment and monitoring process for the regular review of patients at risk of HIV associated neurocognitive disorder.Between March and September 2017, 25 experts from 4 community health care services participated in 3 rounds of a modified Delphi study to reach consensus on the items, monitoring period and format of assessment tools to identify risk of HAND in people living with HIV in the community.More than 80% consensus was reached at all three Delphi rounds. A flow chart, initial assessment and annual monitoring tool were developed for ongoing assessment of risk of developing HAND.Twenty per cent (20%) of PLHIV may develop HAND, a treatable condition. The use of a modified Delphi method led to the successful development of two risk assessment tools to identify those at risk of HAND. The initial assessment tool may be used as a precursor to formal assessment by medical and nursing staff, while the annual monitoring tool may assist community-based health professionals in their ongoing assessment of risk of HAND in PLHIV, facilitating early formal medical review for this condition.

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