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Impact of sociodemographic factors on cognitive function in school-aged HIV-infected Nigerian children

Authors Boyede GO, Lesi F, Ezeaka VC, Umeh CS

Received 26 January 2013

Accepted for publication 6 March 2013

Published 15 July 2013 Volume 2013:5 Pages 145—152

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/HIV.S43260

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Gbemisola O Boyede,1,2 Foluso EA Lesi,2 Veronica C Ezeaka,2 Charles S Umeh3

1Division of Developmental Paediatrics, School of Child and Adolescent Health, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; 2Department of Paediatrics, 3Clinical Psychology Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria

Background: In this study, we sought to evaluate the influence of sociodemographic factors, ie, age, sex, socioeconomic status, maternal education, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status, on cognitive performance in school-aged HIV-infected Nigerian children.
Methods: Sixty-nine HIV-positive children aged 6–15 years were matched with 69 HIV-negative control children for age and sex. The children were subdivided for the purpose of analysis into two cognitive developmental stages using Piaget’s staging, ie, the concrete operational stage (6–11 years) and the formal operational stage (12–15 years). All participants underwent cognitive assessment using Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices (RPM). Sociodemographic data for the study participants, ie, age, sex, socioeconomic status, and level of maternal education, were obtained using a study proforma. Logistic regression analyses were used to determine associations of HIV status and sociodemographic characteristics with RPM cognitive scores.
Results: The overall mean RPM score for the HIV-positive children was 18.2 ± 9.8 (range 8.0–47.0) which was significantly lower than the score of 27.2 ± 13.8 (range 8.0–52.0) for the HIV-negative children (P < 0.001). On RPM grading, 56.5% of the HIV-positive children had cognitive performance at below average to intellectually defective range. Below average RPM scores were found to be significantly associated with younger age (6–11 years), positive HIV status, lower socioeconomic status, and low level of maternal education.
Conclusion: Younger age, poor socioeconomic status, and low level of maternal education were factors apart from HIV infection that were significantly associated with low cognitive function in school-aged HIV-infected Nigerian children.

Keywords: pediatric human immunodeficiency virus, cognitive assessment, school-aged children, Raven’s Progressive Matrices, Nigeria

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