n African Journal of Psychiatry - The utility of a rapid screening tool for depression and HIV dementia amongst patients with low CD4 counts- a preliminary report : original article




: To assess the utility of the International HIV Dementia Scale (IHDS) and Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CESD) as rapid screening tools of depression and HIV dementia amongst patients with low cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4) counts. : The rapid screening tools were tested on a sample of 20 patients with low CD4 counts who were recruited from the inpatient ward at McCord Hospital from August to October 2007. The CESD was found to have 91 % sensitivity and 44 % specificity. Using the recommended cut-off of 10, the sensitivity of the IHDS was 88 %. The specificity was 50 %. The results suggest that CESD and IHDS are sensitive, however their low specificity may limit their clinical utility. This is a pilot study and no firm conclusions are drawn. Further research is needed to verify the high burden of depression and neuro-cognitive impairment (NCI) among people with low CD4. A larger study is needed to validate the IHDS in South Africa. Other researchers are encouraged to validate and determine the optimal cut off value for the IHDS in their local population.


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