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Optimal metrics for identifying long term patterns of depression in older HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected men who have sex with men



Center of Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) provides a snapshot of symptom severity at a single point in time. However, the best way of using CES-D to classify long-term depression is unclear.


To identify long-term depression among HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected 50+ year-old men who have sex with men (MSM) with at least 5 years of follow-up, we compared sensitivities and specificities of CES-D-based metrics (baseline CES-D; four consecutive CES-Ds; group-based trajectory models) thresholded at 16 and 20 to a clinician's evaluation of depression phenotype based on all available data including CES-D history, depression treatment history, drug use history, HIV disease factors, and demographic characteristics.


A positive depressive phenotype prevalence was common among HIV-infected (prevalence = 33.1%) and HIV-uninfected MSM (prevalence = 23.2%). Compared to the depressive phenotype, trajectory models of CES-D≥20 provided highest specificities among HIV-infected (specificity = 99.9%, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]:99.4%-100.0%) and HIV-uninfected MSM (specificity = 99.0%, 95% CI:97.4%-99.7%). Highest sensitivities resulted from classifying baseline CES-D ≥ 16 among HIV-infected MSM (sensitivity = 75.0%, 95% CI:67.3%-81.7%) and four consecutive CES-Ds ≥ 16 among HIV-uninfected MSM (sensitivity = 81.0%, 95% CI:73.7%-87.0%).


Choice of method should vary, depending on importance of false positive or negative rate for long-term depression in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected MSM.

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