At-Risk Alcohol Use Among HIV-Positive Patients and the Completion of Patient-Reported Outcomes

AIDS Behav. 2018 Apr;22(4):1313-1322. doi: 10.1007/s10461-017-1824-4.


Heavy drinking is prevalent among people living with HIV. Studies use tools like patient-reported outcomes (PROs) to quantify alcohol use in a detailed, timely manner. However, if alcohol misuse influences PRO completion, selection bias may result. Our study included 14,145 adult HIV patients (133,036 visits) from CNICS who were eligible to complete PROs at an HIV primary care visit. We compared PRO completion proportions between patients with and without a clinical diagnosis of at-risk alcohol use in the prior year. We accounted for confounding by baseline and visit-specific covariates. PROs were completed at 20.8% of assessed visits. The adjusted difference in PRO completion proportions was -3.2% (95% CI -5.6 to -0.8%). The small association between receipt of an at-risk alcohol use diagnosis and decreased PRO completion suggests there could be modest selection bias in studies using the PRO alcohol measure.

Keywords: Alcohol consumption; HIV; PROs; Patient-reported outcomes; Selection bias.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Quality of Health Care*