Resource Logo
AIDS Research and Therapy

Reliability and predictive validity of a hepatitis-related symptom inventory in HIV-infected individuals referred for Hepatitis C treatment



We aimed to determine the reliability and validity of a hepatitis symptom inventory and to identify predictors of hepatitis C (HCV) treatment initiation in a cohort of HIV-infected patients.


Prospective clinic based study that enrolled patients referred for HCV therapy consideration. A hepatitis symptom inventory and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) were administered to HIV/HCV individuals. The symptom inventory was factor analyzed and subscale reliability estimated with Cronbach's alpha. Predictive validity was evaluated using generalized estimating equations (GEE). Predictors of HCV treatment were identified using logistic regression.


Between April 2008 to July 2010, 126 HIV/HCV co-infected patients were enrolled in the study. Factor analysis using data from 126 patients yielded a three-factor structure explaining 60% of the variance for the inventory. Factor 1 (neuropsychiatric symptoms) had 14 items, factor 2 (somatic symptoms) had eleven items, and factor 3 (sleep symptoms) had two items, explaining 28%, 22% and 11% of the variance, respectively. The three factor subscales demonstrated high intrinsic consistency reliability. GEE modeling of the 32 patients who initiated HCV therapy showed that patients developed worsening neuropsychiatric and somatic symptoms following HCV therapy with stable sleep symptoms. Bivariate analyses identified the following as predictors of HCV therapy initiation: lower HIV log10 RNA, lower scores for neuropsychiatric, somatic and sleep symptoms, lower CES-D scores and white ethnicity. In stepwise multiple logistic regression analysis, low neuropsychiatric symptom score was the strongest independent predictor of HCV therapy initiation and HIV log10 RNA was inversely associated with a decision to initiate HCV treatment.


A 41-item hepatitis-related symptom inventory was found to have a clinically meaningful 3-factor structure with excellent internal consistency reliability and predictive validity. In adjusted analysis, low neuropsychiatric symptom scores and controlled HIV infection were independent predictors of HCV treatment initiation. The usefulness of the HCV symptom inventory in monitoring HCV treatment should be evaluated prospectively.


Corresponding author: Edward R Cachay

© 2011 Cachay et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Copyright © 2011 -

All articles published by AIDS Research and Therapy are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication, without subscription charges or registration barriers. Further information about open access can be found here.

Authors of articles published in AIDS Research and Therapy are the copyright holders of their articles and have granted to any third party, in advance and in perpetuity, the right to use, reproduce or disseminate the article, according to the BioMed Central copyright and license agreement.

Information in this article was accurate in August 10, 2011. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.