B - 64 Association of Perceived Stress during the COVID-19 Pandemic on Cognitive Performance in HIV+ Adults

Johnny Lopez, Desiree Byrd, Jairo Gonzalez, Susan Morgello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Stress may impact cognitive ability, and perceived stress may be a modifiable risk factor for cognitive impairment. This study investigates the potential impact of perceived stress levels on cognitive test performance in a NYC cohort of people living with HIV (PLWH), assessed during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHOD: 124 racially-diverse PLWH participating in a longitudinal cohort completed comprehensive face-to-face neurocognitive test batteries between August 2020 and February 2023 (Mage = 61.22). Self-reported stress was assessed using the Perceived Stress Scale-14, and a median split (value of 18) was used to divide the sample into high and low stress groups. One-way ANOVAs were used to evaluate differences in cognitive performance based on stress grouping. RESULTS: Significant differences between high and low stress groups were found in: Trail Making Test-A (TMT-A), F(1,104) = 3.962,p = 0.049; Trail Making Test-B (TMT-B), F(1,80) = 7.106,p = 0.009; Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT), F(1,80) = 7.096,p = 0.009; and Symbol Search (SS), F(1,102) = 5.280,p = 0.024. Participants in the high stress group had lower performance on TMT-A (M = 48.78, SD = 13.47), TMT-B(M = 49.56, SD = 13.92), PASAT (M = 43.07, SD = 12.57), and SS (M = 44.85, SD = 11.76) compared to the low stress group (M = 53.71, SD = 11.87; M = 57, SD = 10.72; M = 50.20, SD = 11.62; M = 49.78, SD = 9.85; respectively). CONCLUSION: Individuals reporting higher levels of stress during the COVID pandemic had reduced performance on tasks assessing information processing speed, executive functioning, and attention. This suggests that higher perceived stress levels and ambient stressors (such as the pandemic) may influence cognitive functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1429
Number of pages1
JournalArchives of Clinical Neuropsychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 20 Oct 2023


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