Everyday functioning (EF) impairment is frequent in people living with HIV (PLWH). Our aim was to better explore EF and its association with PLWH cognition, by administering both the IADL scale, the most common functional scale, and a new and ecologic multi-domain (communication and financial skills) tool to measure EF as the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Performance-Based Skills Assessment-Brief Version (UPSA-B). Eighty-five PLWH on cART with very good immunological condition and 23 age- and education-matched healthy controls (HC) were enrolled. PLWH underwent a standardized neuropsychological battery plus IADL, and cognitive impairment was defined according to Frascati criteria. Both groups underwent the UPSA-B. Only 6 subjects (7%) were affected by cognitive impairment (asymptomatic profile). While IADL score was at ceiling for all patients, the UPSA-B total score was significantly worse in PLWH when compared with HC [mean 82.1 (SD 9.3) vs 89.2 (SD 6.2); p < 0.001]. At communication subtest, PLWH group and HC were significantly different (p = 0.002), while no difference emerged at financial skills (p = 0.096). Higher score at UPSA-B was independently associated with better global cognitive performance (composite Z-score) (β 7.79; p < 0.001). Also considering each single cognitive domain, UPSA-B performance (both total and at subtests) confirmed the association with neurocognitive performance. In conclusion, UPSA-B seems to better discriminate EF impairment than IADL in PLWH, and it was associated with cognitive functions, also in the absence of symptomatic cognitive impairment. Thus, it appears a promising tool in the context of HIV infection to avoid misdiagnosis and to better detect also mild EF.
- Cognition evaluation
- Everyday functioning
- Functional assessment
- HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders