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1.  Video Game Intervention for Sexual Risk Reduction in Minority Adolescents: Randomized Controlled Trial 
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disproportionately impacts minority youth. Interventions to decrease HIV sexual risk are needed.
We hypothesized that an engaging theory-based digital health intervention in the form of an interactive video game would improve sexual health outcomes in adolescents.
Participants aged 11 to 14 years from 12 community afterschool, school, and summer programs were randomized 1:1 to play up to 16 hours of an experimental video game or control video games over 6 weeks. Assessments were conducted at 6 weeks and at 3, 6, and 12 months. Primary outcome was delay of initiation of vaginal/anal intercourse. Secondary outcomes included sexual health attitudes, knowledge, and intentions. We examined outcomes by gender and age.
A total of 333 participants were randomized to play the intervention (n=166) or control games (n=167): 295 (88.6%) were racial/ethnic minorities, 177 (53.2%) were boys, and the mean age was 12.9 (1.1) years. At 12 months, for the 258 (84.6%) participants with available data, 94.6% (122/129) in the intervention group versus 95.4% (123/129) in the control group delayed initiation of intercourse (relative risk=0.99, 95% CI 0.94-1.05, P=.77). Over 12 months, the intervention group demonstrated improved sexual health attitudes overall compared to the control group (least squares means [LS means] difference 0.37, 95% CI 0.01-0.72, P=.04). This improvement was observed in boys (LS means difference 0.67, P=.008), but not girls (LS means difference 0.06, P=.81), and in younger (LS means difference 0.71, P=.005), but not older participants (LS means difference 0.03, P=.92). The intervention group also demonstrated increased sexual health knowledge overall (LS means difference 1.13, 95% CI 0.64-1.61, P<.001), in girls (LS means difference 1.16, P=.001), boys (LS means difference 1.10, P=.001), younger (LS means difference 1.18, P=.001), and older (LS means difference=1.08, P=.002) participants. There were no differences in intentions to delay the initiation of intercourse between the two groups (LS means difference 0.10, P=.56).
An interactive video game intervention improves sexual health attitudes and knowledge in minority adolescents for at least 12 months.
Trial Registration NCT01666496; (Archived by WebCite at
PMCID: PMC5625130  PMID: 28923788
adolescent; videogame; intervention; randomized controlled trial; human immunodeficiency virus; risk reduction; primary prevention
2.  The Starting Treatment for Ethanol in Primary care Trials (STEP Trials): Protocol for Three Parallel Multi-Site Stepped Care Effectiveness Studies for Unhealthy Alcohol Use in HIV-Positive Patients 
Unhealthy alcohol use is common among HIV-positive patients, yet effective evidence-based treatments are rarely provided in clinical settings providing HIV care. Further, given patient variability in response to initial treatments, stepped care approaches may be beneficial. We describe the rationale, aims and study design for the current Starting Treatment for Ethanol in Primary care Trials (STEP Trials); three parallel randomized controlled effectiveness trials being conducted in five Infectious Disease Clinics. Participants meeting criteria for: 1) at-risk drinking, 2) moderate alcohol use with liver disease (MALD), or 3) alcohol use disorder (AUD) are randomized to integrated stepped care versus treatment as usual. For those with at-risk drinking or MALD, integrated stepped care starts with a one session brief intervention and follow-up 2-week telephone booster. Based on pre-specified nonresponse criteria, participants may be “stepped up” at week 4 to receive four sessions of motivational enhancement therapy (MET) and “stepped up” again at week 12 for addiction physician management (APM) and consideration of alcohol pharmacotherapy. For those with AUD, integrated stepped care begins with APM. Non-responders may be “stepped up” at week 4 to receive MET and again at week 12 for a higher level of care (e.g. intensive outpatient program). The primary outcome is alcohol consumption assessed at 24 weeks, and secondary outcome is the VACS Index, a validated measure of HIV morbidity and mortality risk. Results from the STEP Trials should inform future research and the implementation of interventions to address unhealthy alcohol use among HIV-positive individuals.
PMCID: PMC5253227  PMID: 27876616
Multicenter study; Randomized controlled trial; Algorithms; HIV; Alcohol
3.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Improves Treatment Outcomes for Prescription Opioid Users in Primary-Care Based Buprenorphine Treatment 
To determine whether treatment outcomes differed for prescription opioid and heroin use disorder patients, we conducted a secondary analysis of a 24-week (N = 140) randomized trial of Physician Management (PM) or PM plus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in primary care buprenorphine/naloxone treatment. Self-reported opioid use and urine toxicology analyses were obtained weekly. We examined baseline demographic differences between primary prescription opioid use patients (n = 49) and primary heroin use patients (n = 91) and evaluated whether treatment response differed by assigned condition. Compared to primary heroin use patients, primary prescription opioid use patients had marginally fewer years of opioid use, were less likely to have had a previous drug treatment or detoxification, and were less likely to report injection drug use. Although opioid abstinence only, and treatment retention did not differ by opioid use group, opioid category moderated the effect of CBT on urine samples negative for all drugs. Primary prescription opioid use patients assigned to PM-CBT had more than twice the mean number of weeks of abstinence for all drugs (7.6) than those assigned to PM only (3.6; p=.02), while primary heroin use patients did not differ by treatment. Findings suggest that examination of other factors that may predict response to behavioral interventions is warranted.
PMCID: PMC5119533  PMID: 27776678
opioid-related disorders; buprenorphine; cognitive behavioral therapy; treatment outcome
4.  Proceedings of the 14th annual conference of INEBRIA 
Holloway, Aisha S. | Ferguson, Jennifer | Landale, Sarah | Cariola, Laura | Newbury-Birch, Dorothy | Flynn, Amy | Knight, John R. | Sherritt, Lon | Harris, Sion K. | O’Donnell, Amy J. | Kaner, Eileen | Hanratty, Barbara | Loree, Amy M. | Yonkers, Kimberly A. | Ondersma, Steven J. | Gilstead-Hayden, Kate | Martino, Steve | Adam, Angeline | Schwartz, Robert P. | Wu, Li-Tzy | Subramaniam, Geetha | Sharma, Gaurav | McNeely, Jennifer | Berman, Anne H. | Kolaas, Karoline | Petersén, Elisabeth | Bendtsen, Preben | Hedman, Erik | Linderoth, Catharina | Müssener, Ulrika | Sinadinovic, Kristina | Spak, Fredrik | Gremyr, Ida | Thurang, Anna | Mitchell, Ann M. | Finnell, Deborah | Savage, Christine L. | Mahmoud, Khadejah F. | Riordan, Benjamin C. | Conner, Tamlin S. | Flett, Jayde A. M. | Scarf, Damian | McRee, Bonnie | Vendetti, Janice | Gallucci, Karen Steinberg | Robaina, Kate | Clark, Brendan J. | Jones, Jacqueline | Reed, Kathryne D. | Hodapp, Rachel M. | Douglas, Ivor | Burnham, Ellen L. | Aagaard, Laura | Cook, Paul F. | Harris, Brett R. | Yu, Jiang | Wolff, Margaret | Rogers, Meighan | Barbosa, Carolina | Wedehase, Brendan J. | Dunlap, Laura J. | Mitchell, Shannon G. | Dusek, Kristi A. | Gryczynski, Jan | Kirk, Arethusa S. | Oros, Marla T. | Hosler, Colleen | O’Grady, Kevin E. | Brown, Barry S. | Angus, Colin | Sherborne, Sidney | Gillespie, Duncan | Meier, Petra | Brennan, Alan | de Vargas, Divane | Soares, Janaina | Castelblanco, Donna | Doran, Kelly M. | Wittman, Ian | Shelley, Donna | Rotrosen, John | Gelberg, Lillian | Edelman, E. Jennifer | Maisto, Stephen A. | Hansen, Nathan B. | Cutter, Christopher J. | Deng, Yanhong | Dziura, James | Fiellin, Lynn E. | O’Connor, Patrick G. | Bedimo, Roger | Gibert, Cynthia | Marconi, Vincent C. | Rimland, David | Rodriguez-Barradas, Maria C. | Simberkoff, Michael S. | Justice, Amy C. | Bryant, Kendall J. | Fiellin, David A. | Giles, Emma L. | Coulton, Simon | Deluca, Paolo | Drummond, Colin | Howel, Denise | McColl, Elaine | McGovern, Ruth | Scott, Stephanie | Stamp, Elaine | Sumnall, Harry | Vale, Luke | Alabani, Viviana | Atkinson, Amanda | Boniface, Sadie | Frankham, Jo | Gilvarry, Eilish | Hendrie, Nadine | Howe, Nicola | McGeechan, Grant J. | Ramsey, Amy | Stanley, Grant | Clephane, Justine | Gardiner, David | Holmes, John | Martin, Neil | Shevills, Colin | Soutar, Melanie | Chi, Felicia W. | Weisner, Constance | Ross, Thekla B. | Mertens, Jennifer | Sterling, Stacy A. | Shorter, Gillian W. | Heather, Nick | Bray, Jeremy | Cohen, Hildie A. | McPherson, Tracy L. | Adam, Cyrille | López-Pelayo, Hugo | Gual, Antoni | Segura-Garcia, Lidia | Colom, Joan | Ornelas, India J. | Doyle, Suzanne | Donovan, Dennis | Duran, Bonnie | Torres, Vanessa | Gaume, Jacques | Grazioli, Véronique | Fortini, Cristiana | Paroz, Sophie | Bertholet, Nicolas | Daeppen, Jean-Bernard | Satterfield, Jason M. | Gregorich, Steven | Alvarado, Nicholas J. | Muñoz, Ricardo | Kulieva, Gozel | Vijayaraghavan, Maya | Adam, Angéline | Cunningham, John A. | Díaz, Estela | Palacio-Vieira, Jorge | Godinho, Alexandra | Kushir, Vladyslav | O’Brien, Kimberly H. M. | Aguinaldo, Laika D. | Sellers, Christina M. | Spirito, Anthony | Chang, Grace | Blake-Lamb, Tiffany | LaFave, Lea R. Ayers | Thies, Kathleen M. | Pepin, Amy L. | Sprangers, Kara E. | Bradley, Martha | Jorgensen, Shasta | Catano, Nico A. | Murray, Adelaide R. | Schachter, Deborah | Andersen, Ronald M. | Rey, Guillermina Natera | Vahidi, Mani | Rico, Melvin W. | Baumeister, Sebastian E. | Johansson, Magnus | Sinadinovic, Christina | Hermansson, Ulric | Andreasson, Sven | O’Grady, Megan A. | Kapoor, Sandeep | Akkari, Cherine | Bernal, Camila | Pappacena, Kristen | Morley, Jeanne | Auerbach, Mark | Neighbors, Charles J. | Kwon, Nancy | Conigliaro, Joseph | Morgenstern, Jon | Magill, Molly | Apodaca, Timothy R. | Borsari, Brian | Hoadley, Ariel | Scott Tonigan, J. | Moyers, Theresa | Fitzgerald, Niamh M. | Schölin, Lisa | Barticevic, Nicolas | Zuzulich, Soledad | Poblete, Fernando | Norambuena, Pablo | Sacco, Paul | Ting, Laura | Beaulieu, Michele | Wallace, Paul George | Andrews, Matthew | Daley, Kate | Shenker, Don | Gallagher, Louise | Watson, Rod | Weaver, Tim | Bruguera, Pol | Oliveras, Clara | Gavotti, Carolina | Barrio, Pablo | Braddick, Fleur | Miquel, Laia | Suárez, Montse | Bruguera, Carla | Brown, Richard L. | Capell, Julie Whelan | Paul Moberg, D. | Maslowsky, Julie | Saunders, Laura A. | McCormack, Ryan P. | Scheidell, Joy | Gonzalez, Mirelis | Bauroth, Sabrina | Liu, Weiwei | Lindsay, Dawn L. | Lincoln, Piper | Hagle, Holly | Wallhed Finn, Sara | Hammarberg, Anders | Andréasson, Sven | King, Sarah E. | Vargo, Rachael | Kameg, Brayden N. | Acquavita, Shauna P. | Van Loon, Ruth Anne | Smith, Rachel | Brehm, Bonnie J. | Diers, Tiffiny | Kim, Karissa | Barker, Andrea | Jones, Ashley L. | Skinner, Asheley C. | Hinman, Agatha | Svikis, Dace S. | Thacker, Casey L. | Resnicow, Ken | Beatty, Jessica R. | Janisse, James | Puder, Karoline | Bakshi, Ann-Sofie | Milward, Joanna M. | Kimergard, Andreas | Garnett, Claire V. | Crane, David | Brown, Jamie | West, Robert | Michie, Susan | Rosendahl, Ingvar | Andersson, Claes | Gajecki, Mikael | Blankers, Matthijs | Donoghue, Kim | Lynch, Ellen | Maconochie, Ian | Phillips, Ceri | Pockett, Rhys | Phillips, Tom | Patton, R. | Russell, Ian | Strang, John | Stewart, Maureen T. | Quinn, Amity E. | Brolin, Mary | Evans, Brooke | Horgan, Constance M. | Liu, Junqing | McCree, Fern | Kanovsky, Doug | Oberlander, Tyler | Zhang, Huan | Hamlin, Ben | Saunders, Robert | Barton, Mary B. | Scholle, Sarah H. | Santora, Patricia | Bhatt, Chirag | Ahmed, Kazi | Hodgkin, Dominic | Gao, Wenwu | Merrick, Elizabeth L. | Drebing, Charles E. | Larson, Mary Jo | Sharma, Monica | Petry, Nancy M. | Saitz, Richard | Weisner, Constance M. | Young-Wolff, Kelly C. | Lu, Wendy Y. | Blosnich, John R. | Lehavot, Keren | Glass, Joseph E. | Williams, Emily C. | Bensley, Kara M. | Chan, Gary | Dombrowski, Julie | Fortney, John | Rubinsky, Anna D. | Lapham, Gwen T. | Forray, Ariadna | Olmstead, Todd A. | Gilstad-Hayden, Kathryn | Kershaw, Trace | Dillon, Pamela | Weaver, Michael F. | Grekin, Emily R. | Ellis, Jennifer D. | McGoron, Lucy | McGoron, Lucy
PMCID: PMC5606215
5.  Hepatic safety of buprenorphine in HIV-infected and uninfected patients with opioid use disorder: The role of HCV-infection 
Individuals with HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) infection, alcohol use disorder, or who are prescribed potentially hepatotoxic medications may be at increased risk for buprenorphine (BUP) associated hepatotoxicity.
Materials and methods
We examined a cohort of HIV-infected and uninfected patients receiving an initial BUP prescription between 2003 and 2012. We compared changes in alanine and aspartate aminotransferases (ALT and AST) and total bilirubin (TB) stratified by HIV status. We identified cases of liver enzyme elevation (LEE), TB elevation (TBE), and conducted chart review to assess for cases of drug induced liver injury (DILI) and death. We examined associations between age, sex, race, HIV-infection, HCV-infection, alcohol use disorder, and prescription of other potentially heptatotoxic medications with the composite endpoint of LEE, TBE, and DILI.
Of 666 patients prescribed BUP, 36% were HIV-infected, 98% were male, 60% had RNA-confirmed HCV infection, 50% had a recent diagnosis of alcohol use disorder, and 64% were prescribed other potentially hepatotoxic medications. No clinically significant changes were observed in median ALT, AST and TB and these changes did not differ between HIV-infected and uninfected patients. Compared with uninfected patients, HIV-infected (OR 7.3, 95% CI 2.1-26.1, p=0.002), HCV-infected (OR 4.9 95% CI 1.6-15.2, p=0.007) or HIV/HCV co-infected patients (OR 6.9, 95%CI 2.1-22.2, p=0.001) were more likely to have the composite endpoint of LEE, TB elevation or DILI, in analyses that excluded 60 patients with evidence of pre-existing liver injury. 31 patients had LEE, 14/187 HIV-infected and 17/340 uninfected (p = 0.25); 11 had TBE, including 9/186 HIV-infected and 2/329 uninfected (p = 0.002); 8 experienced DILI, 4/202 HIV-infected and 2/404 uninfected (p = 0.45). There were no significant associations with alcohol use disorder or prescription of other potentially hepatotoxic medications after adjustment for HIV/HCV status.
Liver enzymes and TB are rarely elevated in HIV-infected and uninfected patients receiving BUP. Risk of hepatotoxicity was greater in individuals infected with HIV, HCV, or HIV/HCV co-infection, who may benefit from increased monitoring.
PMCID: PMC4976086  PMID: 27431048
buprenorphine; HIV; Hepatitis C; drug induced liver injury
6.  The availability of ancillary counseling in the practices of physicians prescribing buprenorphine 
Journal of addiction medicine  2016;10(5):352-356.
We set out to examine physicians’ perceptions of the provision of ancillary services for opioid dependent patients receiving buprenorphine.
An email invitation describing the study was sent out by the American Society of Addiction Medicine to its membership (approximately 3,700 physicians) and other entities (for a total of approximately 7,000 email addresses). Email recipients were invited to participate in a research study funded by the National Institutes on Drug Abuse involving completion of an online survey; 346 physicians completed the survey.
The majority of the 346 respondents were internal or family medicine (37%) or addiction medicine providers (30%) who were practicing in urban (57%) or suburban settings (27%). Most respondents reported either offering (66%) or referring patients for ancillary counseling (31%). Interventions that were most frequently offered or referrals provided were individual counseling (51%) and self-help groups (63%), respectively. Counseling availability differed significantly by provider specialization for any, individual, group, family or couples, and self-help groups.
Generally, respondents reported compliance with ancillary counseling requirements for buprenorphine treatment of opioid use disorder. In addition to examining the efficacy of a variety of ancillary counseling services for patients receiving opioid agonist treatment, further research should examine physicians’ attitudes toward the role of such counseling in buprenorphine treatment. While the study sample was relatively large, the generalizability of the findings is unclear, suggesting that further investigation of the availability of ancillary counseling in buprenorphine treatment among a larger nationally representative sample of providers may be warranted.
PMCID: PMC5042831  PMID: 27504926
Opioid use disorder; buprenorphine; physician; counseling
7.  Videogames, Here for Good 
Pediatrics  2014;134(5):849-851.
PMCID: PMC4210794  PMID: 25287452
videogames; adolescents; prevention; interventions
8.  Risk of Mortality and Physiologic Injury Evident with Lower Alcohol Exposure Among HIV Infected Compared with Uninfected Men* 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2016;161:95-103.
HIV infected (HIV+) individuals may be more susceptible to alcohol-related harm than uninfected individuals.
We analyzed data on HIV+ and uninfected individuals in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) with an Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption AUDIT-C score from 2008–2012. We used Cox proportional hazards models to examine the association between alcohol exposure and mortality through July, 2014; and linear regression models to assess the association between alcohol exposure and physiologic injury based on VACS Index Scores. Models were adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, smoking, and Hepatitis C infection.
The sample included 18,145 HIV+ and 42,228 uninfected individuals. Among HIV+ individuals, 76% had undetectable HIV-1 RNA (<500 copies/ml). The threshold for an association of alcohol use with mortality and physiologic injury differed by HIV status. Among HIV+ individuals, AUDIT-C score ≥4 (hazard ratio [HR] 1.25, 95% CI 1.09–1.44) and ≥30 drinks per month (HR, 1.30, 95% CI 1.14–1.50) were associated with increased risk of mortality. Among uninfected individuals, AUDIT-C score ≥5 (HR, 1.19, 95% CI 1.07–1.32) and ≥70 drinks per month (HR 1.13, 95% CI 1.00–1.28) were associated with increased risk. Similarly, AUDIT-C threshold scores of 5–7 were associated with physiologic injury among HIV+ individuals (beta 0.47, 95% CI 0.22, 0.73) and a score of 8 or more was associated with injury in uninfected (beta 0.29, 95% CI 0.16, 0.42) individuals.
Despite antiretroviral therapy, HIV+ individuals experienced increased mortality and physiologic injury at lower levels of alcohol use compared with uninfected individuals. Alcohol consumption limits should be lower among HIV+ individuals.
PMCID: PMC4792710  PMID: 26861883
alcohol; mortality; morbidity; VACS Index; AUDIT-C; veteran
9.  Using Videogame Apps to Assess Gains in Adolescents’ Substance Use Knowledge: New Opportunities for Evaluating Intervention Exposure and Content Mastery 
Videogame interventions are becoming increasingly popular as a means to engage people in behavioral interventions; however, strategies for examining data from such interventions have not been developed.
The objective of this study was to describe how a technology-based intervention can yield meaningful, objective evidence of intervention exposure within a behavioral intervention. This study demonstrates the analysis of automatic log files, created by software from a videogame intervention, that catalog game play and, as proof of concept, the association of these data with changes in substance use knowledge as documented with standardized assessments.
We analyzed 3- and 6-month follow-up data from 166 participants enrolled in a randomized controlled trial evaluating a videogame intervention, PlayForward: Elm City Stories (PlayForward). PlayForward is a videogame developed as a risk reduction and prevention program targeting HIV risk behaviors (substance use and sex) in young minority adolescents. Log files were analyzed to extract the total amount of time spent playing the videogame intervention and the total number of game levels completed and beaten by each player.
Completing and beating more of the game levels, and not total game play time, was related to higher substance use knowledge scores at the 3- (P=.001) and 6-month (P=.001) follow-ups.
Our findings highlight the potential contributions a videogame intervention can make to the study of health behavior change. Specifically, the use of objective data collected during game play can address challenges in traditional human-delivered behavioral interventions.
Trial Registration NCT01666496; (Archived by WebCite at
PMCID: PMC4642786  PMID: 26510775
video games; intervention studies; substance use; HIV; evaluation; eHealth
10.  Games for Health for Children—Current Status and Needed Research 
Games For Health Journal  2016;5(1):1-12.
Videogames for health (G4H) offer exciting, innovative, potentially highly effective methods for increasing knowledge, delivering persuasive messages, changing behaviors, and influencing health outcomes. Although early outcome results are promising, additional research is needed to determine the game design and behavior change procedures that best promote G4H effectiveness and to identify and minimize possible adverse effects. Guidelines for ideal use of different types of G4H by children and adolescents should be elucidated to enhance effectiveness and minimize adverse effects. G4H stakeholders include organizational implementers, policy makers, players and their families, researchers, designers, retailers, and publishers. All stakeholders should be involved in G4H development and have a voice in setting goals to capitalize on their insights to enhance effectiveness and use of the game. In the future, multiple targeted G4H should be available to meet a population's diverse health needs in developmentally appropriate ways. Substantial, consistent, and sophisticated research with appropriate levels of funding is needed to realize the benefits of G4H.
PMCID: PMC4770851  PMID: 26262772
11.  Momentary Assessment of PTSD Symptoms And Sexual Risk Behavior in Male OEF/OIF/OND Veterans 
Journal of affective disorders  2015;190:424-428.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Veterans is associated with increased sexual risk behaviors, but the nature of this association is not well understood. Typical PTSD measurement deriving a summary estimate of symptom severity over a period of time precludes inferences about symptom variability, and whether momentary changes in symptom severity predict risk behavior.
We assessed the feasibility of measuring daily PTSD symptoms, substance use, and high-risk sexual behavior in Veterans using ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Feasibility indicators were survey completion, PTSD symptom variability, and variability in rates of substance use and sexual risk behavior. Nine male Veterans completed web-based questionnaires by cell phone three times per day for 28 days.
Median within-day survey completion rates maintained near 90%, and PTSD symptoms showed high within-person variability, ranging up to 59 points on the 80-point scale. Six Veterans reported alcohol or substance use, and substance users reported use of more than one drug. Eight Veterans reported 1 to 28 high-risk sexual events. Heightened PTSD-related negative affect and externalizing behaviors preceded high-risk sexual events. Greater PTSD symptom instability was associated with having multiple sexual partners in the 28-day period.
These results are preliminary, given this small sample size, and multiple comparisons, and should be verified with larger Veteran samples.
Results support the feasibility and utility of using of EMA to better understand the relationship between PTSD symptoms and sexual risk behavior in Veterans. Specific antecedent-risk behavior patterns provide promise for focused clinical interventions.
PMCID: PMC4684959  PMID: 26551400
PTSD; Veterans; Sexual Risk; HIV; Substance Use; EMA
12.  Quality of HIV Care and Mortality Rates in HIV-Infected Patients 
Links between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) care quality indicators (QIs) and mortality rates are not well established. We assessed HIV-infected patients' baseline QIs; mortality rates during 24 805–person-years of follow-up were lower among patients receiving ≥80% of baseline HIV QIs.
Background. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act encourages healthcare systems to track quality-of-care measures; little is known about their impact on mortality rates. The objective of this study was to assess associations between HIV quality of care and mortality rates.
Methods. A longitudinal survival analysis of the Veterans Aging Cohort Study included 3038 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected patients enrolled between June 2002 and July 2008. The independent variable was receipt of ≥80% of 9 HIV quality indicators (QIs) abstracted from medical records in the 12 months after enrollment. Overall mortality rates through 2014 were assessed from the Veterans Health Administration, Medicare, and Social Security National Death Index records. We assessed associations between receiving ≥80% of HIV QIs and mortality rates using Kaplan–Meier survival analysis and adjusted Cox proportional hazards models. Results were stratified by unhealthy alcohol and illicit drug use.
Results. The majority of participants were male (97.5%) and black (66.8%), with a mean (standard deviation) age of 49.0 (8.8) years. Overall, 25.9% reported past-year unhealthy alcohol use and 28.4% reported past-year illicit drug use. During 24 805 person-years of follow-up (mean [standard deviation], 8.2 [3.3] years), those who received ≥80% of QIs experienced lower age-adjusted mortality rates (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.75; 95% confidence interval, .65–.86). Adjustment for disease severity attenuated the association.
Conclusions. Receipt of ≥80% of select HIV QIs is associated with improved survival in a sample of predominantly male, black, HIV-infected patients but was insufficient to overcome adjustment for disease severity. Interventions to ensure high-quality care and address underlying chronic illness may improve survival in HIV-infected patients.
PMCID: PMC4690479  PMID: 26338783
alcohol; quality of health care; HIV; health care; opioid-related disorders
13.  Proceedings of the 13th annual conference of INEBRIA 
Watson, Rod | Morris, James | Isitt, John | Barrio, Pablo | Ortega, Lluisa | Gual, Antoni | Conner, Kenneth | Stecker, Tracy | Maisto, Stephen | Paroz, Sophie | Graap, Caroline | Grazioli, Véronique S | Daeppen, Jean-Bernard | Collins, Susan E | Bertholet, Nicolas | McNeely, Jennifer | Kushnir, Vlad | Cunningham, John A. | Crombie, Iain K | Cunningham, Kathryn B | Irvine, Linda | Williams, Brian | Sniehotta, Falko F | Norrie, John | Melson, Ambrose | Jones, Claire | Briggs, Andrew | Rice, Peter | Achison, Marcus | McKenzie, Andrew | Dimova, Elena | Slane, Peter W | Grazioli, Véronique S. | Collins, Susan E. | Paroz, Sophie | Graap, Caroline | Daeppen, Jean-Bernard | Baggio, Stéphanie | Dupuis, Marc | Studer, Joseph | Gmel, Gerhard | Magill, Molly | Grazioli, Véronique S. | Tait, Robert J. | Teoh, Lucinda | Kelty, Erin | Geelhoed, Elizabeth | Mountain, David | Hulse, Gary K. | Renko, Elina | Mitchell, Shannon G. | Lounsbury, David | Li, Zhi | Schwartz, Robert P. | Gryczynski, Jan | Kirk, Arethusa S. | Oros, Marla | Hosler, Colleen | Dusek, Kristi | Brown, Barry S. | Finnell, Deborah S. | Holloway, Aisha | Wu, Li-Tzy | Subramaniam, Geetha | Sharma, Gaurav | Wallhed Finn, Sara | Andreasson, Sven | Dvorak, Robert D. | Kramer, Matthew P. | Stevenson, Brittany L. | Sargent, Emily M. | Kilwein, Tess M. | Harris, Sion K. | Sherritt, Lon | Copelas, Sarah | Knight, John R. | Mdege, Noreen D | McCambridge, Jim | Bischof, Gallus | Bischof, Anja | Freyer-Adam, Jennis | Rumpf, Hans-Juergen | Fitzgerald, Niamh | Schölin, Lisa | Toner, Paul | Böhnke, Jan R. | Veach, Laura J. | Currin, Olivia | Dongre, Leigh Z. | Miller, Preston R. | White, Elizabeth | Williams, Emily C. | Lapham, Gwen T. | Bobb, Jennifer J. | Rubinsky, Anna D. | Catz, Sheryl L. | Shortreed, Susan | Bensley, Kara M. | Bradley, Katharine A. | Milward, Joanna | Deluca, Paolo | Khadjesari, Zarnie | Watson, Rod | Fincham-Campbell, Stephanie | Drummond, Colin | Angus, Kathryn | Bauld, Linda | Baumann, Sophie | Haberecht, Katja | Schnuerer, Inga | Meyer, Christian | Rumpf, Hans-Jürgen | John, Ulrich | Gaertner, Beate | Barrault-Couchouron, Marion | Béracochéa, Marion | Allafort, Vincent | Barthélémy, Valérie | Bonnefoi, Hervé | Bussières, Emmanuel | Garguil, Véronique | Auriacombe, Marc | Saint-Jacques, Marianne | Dorval, Michel | M’Bailara, Katia | Segura-Garcia, Lidia | Ibañez-Martinez, Nuria | Mendive-Arbeloa, Juan Manuel | Anoro-Perminger, Manel | Diaz-Gallego, Pako | Piñar-Mateos, Mª Angeles | Colom-Farran, Joan | Deligianni, Marianthi | Yersin, Bertrand | Adam, Angeline | Weisner, Constance | Chi, Felicia | Lu, Wendy | Sterling, Stacy | Kraemer, Kevin L. | McGinnis, Kathleen A. | Fiellin, David A. | Skanderson, Melissa | Gordon, Adam J. | Robbins, Jonathan | Zickmund, Susan | Korthuis, P. Todd | Edelman, E. Jennifer | Hansen, Nathan B. | Cutter, Christopher J. | Dziura, James | Fiellin, Lynn E. | O’Connor, Patrick G. | Maisto, Stephen A. | Bedimo, Roger | Gilbert, Cynthia | Marconi, Vincent C. | Rimland, David | Rodriguez-Barradas, Maria | Simberkoff, Michael | Justice, Amy C. | Bryant, Kendall J. | Berman, Anne H | Shorter, Gillian W | Bray, Jeremy W | Barbosa, Carolina | Johansson, Magnus | Hester, Reid | Campbell, William | Souza Formigoni, Maria Lucia O. | Andrade, André Luzi Monezi | Sartes, Laisa Marcorela Andreoli | Sundström, Christopher | Eék, Niels | Kraepelien, Martin | Kaldo, Viktor | Fahlke, Claudia | Hernandez, Lynn | Becker, Sara J. | Jones, Richard N. | Graves, Hannah R. | Spirito, Anthony | Diestelkamp, Silke | Wartberg, Lutz | Arnaud, Nicolas | Thomasius, Rainer | Gaume, Jacques | Grazioli, Véronique | Fortini, Cristiana | Malan, Zelra | Mash, Bob | Everett-Murphy, Katherine | Grazioli, Véronique S. | Studer, Joseph | Mohler-Kuo, M. | Bertholet, Nicolas | Gmel, Gerhard | Doi, Lawrence | Cheyne, Helen | Jepson, Ruth | Luna, Vanesa | Echeverria, Leticia | Morales, Silvia | Barroso, Teresa | Abreu, Ângela | Aguiar, Cosma | Stewart, Duncan | Abreu, Angela | Brites, Riany M. | Jomar, Rafael | Marinho, Gerson | Parreira, Pedro | Seale, J. Paul | Johnson, J. Aaron | Henry, Dena | Chalmers, Sharon | Payne, Freida | Tuck, Linda | Morris, Akula | Gonçalves, Cátia | Besser, Bettina | Casajuana, Cristina | López-Pelayo, Hugo | Balcells, María Mercedes | Teixidó, Lídia | Miquel, Laia | Colom, Joan | Hepner, Kimberly A. | Hoggatt, Katherine. J. | Bogart, Andy | Paddock, Susan. M. | Hardoon, Sarah L | Petersen, Irene | Hamilton, Fiona L | Nazareth, Irwin | White, Ian R. | Marston, Louise | Wallace, Paul | Godfrey, Christine | Murray, Elizabeth | Sovinová, Hana | Csémy, Ladislav
PMCID: PMC5032602  PMID: 27654147
14.  Trends in Any and High-Dose Opioid Analgesic Receipt Among Aging Patients With and Without HIV 
AIDS and behavior  2016;20(3):679-686.
Harms of opioid analgesics, especially high-dose therapy among individuals with comorbidities and older age, are increasingly recognized. However, trends in opioid receipt among HIV-infected patients are not well characterized. We examined trends, from 1999 to 2010, in any and high-dose (≥120 mg/day) opioid receipt among patients with and without HIV, by age strata, controlling for demographic and clinical correlates. Of 127,216 patients, 64 % received at least one opioid prescription. Opioid receipt increased substantially among HIV-infected and uninfected patients over the study; high-dose therapy was more prevalent among HIV-infected patients. Trends in high-dose receipt stratified by three age groups revealed an increasing trend in each age strata, higher among HIV-infected patients. Correlates of any opioid receipt included HIV, PTSD and major depression. Correlates of high-dose receipt included HIV, PTSD, major depression and drug use disorders. These findings suggest a need for appropriate balance of risks and benefits, especially as these populations age.
PMCID: PMC5006945  PMID: 26384973
Analgesics; Opioids; Aging; Pain; Chronic; Human immunodeficiency virus
15.  Prior use of alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana and subsequent abuse of prescription opioids in young adults 
There has been an increase in the abuse of prescription opioids, especially in younger individuals. The current study explores the association between alcohol, cigarette, and/or marijuana use during adolescence and subsequent abuse of prescription opioids during young adulthood.
We used demographic/clinical data from community-dwelling individuals in the 2006–2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. We used logistic regression analyses, adjusted for these characteristics, to test whether having antecedent alcohol, cigarette, or marijuana use was associated with an increased likelihood of subsequently abusing prescription opioids.
12% of the survey population of 18–25 year olds (n=6496) reported current abuse of prescription opioids. For this population, prevalence of prior substance use was 57% for alcohol, 56% for cigarettes, and 34% for marijuana. We found prior alcohol use was associated with the subsequent abuse of prescription opioids in young men but not young women. Among both men and women, prior marijuana use was 2.5 times more likely than no prior marijuana to be associated with subsequent abuse of prescription opioids. We found that among young boys, all prior substance use (alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana) but only prior marijuana use in young girls was associated with an increased likelihood of subsequent abuse of prescription opioids during young adulthood.
Prior alcohol, cigarette and marijuana use were each associated with current abuse of prescription opioids in 18–25 year old men but only marijuana use was associated with subsequent prescription opioids in young women. Prevention efforts targeting early substance abuse may help to curb the abuse of prescription opioids.
PMCID: PMC3552239  PMID: 23332479
Substance-related disorders; adolescent; alcohol drinking; cigarettes; marijuana; opioid-related disorders; narcotics; prescription drugs
16.  A qualitative study to inform the development of a video game for adolescent HIV prevention 
Games for health journal  2012;1(4):10.1089/g4h.2012.0025.
To inform the development of an interactive video game focused on behavior change to reduce risk and promote HIV prevention in young minority adolescents.
We used qualitative methods guided by community-partnered research principles to conduct and analyze 16 individual interviews and six focus groups with 10–15 year old boys and girls (36 unique participants) at a neighborhood-based non-profit organization serving youth from low-resource neighborhoods.
We identified three recurring themes. Adolescents report protective factors and facilitators to engaging in risk behaviors including: 1) their personal ability to balance the tension between individuation and group membership; 2) the presence of stable mentor figures in their life; and 3) the neighborhood in which they live.
By conducting a qualitative study guided by community-partnered research principles, we identified themes from our target audience that could be translated into a video game-based intervention, including the storyline and character development. These methods may increase the intervention’s efficacy at promoting HIV prevention by making them more tailored and relevant to a specific population.
PMCID: PMC3782854  PMID: 24078897
Adolescent; risk; qualitative research; HIV; video games
17.  Electronic Media-Based Health Interventions for Behavior Change in Youth: A Systematic Review 
JAMA pediatrics  2013;167(6):574-580.
To assess the type and quality of the studies evaluating the effects of electronic media-based interventions on health and safety behavior change.
Data Sources
Studies were identified from searches in MEDLINE (1950 to September 2010) a and PsycINFO (1967 to September 2010).
Study Selection
Included were published studies of interventions that used electronic media and focused on health/safety behavior change in children aged 18 years or younger.
Electronic media-based intervention.
Main Outcome Measure
Health or safety behavior change.
Nineteen studies met criteria and focused on at least one behavior change outcome. Of these studies, 7 employed interventions related to physical activity and/or nutrition, 6 focused on asthma, 3 focused on safety behaviors, 2 focused on sexual risk behaviors, and 1 targeted diabetes. Seventeen studies reported at least one statistically significant effect on behavior change outcomes, including an increase in fruit, juice, or vegetable consumption, an increase in physical activity, improved asthma self-management, acquisition of street and fire safety skills, and sexual abstinence. Only five of the 19 studies were rated as being of excellent quality.
Our systematic review suggests that interventions using electronic media can improve health/safety behaviors in young people. However, there is a need for higher quality, rigorous interventions that promote behavior change.
PMCID: PMC3733329  PMID: 23568703
adolescent; child; health behavior; health promotion; behavior therapy; randomized controlled trials; videogame
18.  A Pilot Study Examining Food Insecurity and HIV Risk Behaviors among Individuals Recently Released from Prison 
Annually 700,000 individuals are released from U.S. prison, many at risk for food insecurity and HIV. The association between food insecurity and HIV risk behaviors has been established but not in this population. To investigate this association, we recruited 110 recently released prisoners to participate in a survey. Ninety-one percent of our sample was food insecure; 37% did not eat for an entire day in the past month. Those who did not eat for an entire day were more likely to report using alcohol, heroin, or cocaine before sex or exchanging sex for money compared to those who had at least a meal each day. From this pilot study, released prisoners appear to be at risk for food insecurity, and not eating for an entire day is associated with certain HIV risk behaviors. HIV prevention efforts should include longitudinal studies on the relationship between food insecurity and HIV risk behaviors among recently released prisoners.
PMCID: PMC3733343  PMID: 23514079
19.  A Qualitative Study to Inform the Development of a Videogame for Adolescent Human Immunodeficiency Virus Prevention 
Games for Health Journal  2012;1(4):294-298.
We used qualitative methods to inform the development of an interactive videogame focused on behavior change to reduce risk and promote human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention in young minority adolescents. Guided by community-partnered research principles, we conducted and analyzed 16 individual interviews and six focus groups with 10–15 year-old boys and girls (36 unique participants) at a neighborhood-based nonprofit organization serving youth from low-resource neighborhoods. Three recurrent themes lent themselves to translation into a videogame-based intervention. Adolescents reported protective factors and facilitators to engaging in risk behaviors, including (1) their personal ability to balance the tension between individuation and group membership, (2) the presence of stable mentor figures in their life, and (3) the neighborhood in which they live. We used these themes to inform the design of our videogame intervention with the goal that these methods may increase the intervention's efficacy at promoting HIV prevention by making them more tailored and relevant to a specific population. Our qualitative study provides a practical understanding of how important elements identified by minority youth regarding negotiating around risk behaviors can be integrated into a videogame intervention. These findings offer valuable insights to researchers whose goal is to design effective and tailored interventions to affect behavior change.
PMCID: PMC3782854  PMID: 24078897
20.  Food Insecurity and Health: Data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study 
Public Health Reports  2015;130(3):261-268.
Food insecurity may be a modifiable and independent risk factor for worse control of medical conditions, but it has not been explored among veterans. We determined the prevalence of, and factors independently associated with, food insecurity among veterans in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS).
Using data from VACS from 2002–2008, we determined the prevalence of food insecurity among veterans who have accessed health care in the Veterans Health Administration (VA) as defined by “concern about having enough food for you or your family in the past month.” We used multivariable logistic regression to determine factors independently associated with food insecurity and tests of trend to measure the association between food insecurity and control of hypertension, diabetes, HIV, and depression.
Of the 6,709 veterans enrolled in VACS, 1,624 (24%) reported being food insecure. Food insecurity was independently associated with being African American, earning <$25,000/year, recent homelessness, marijuana use, and depression. Being food insecure was also associated with worse control of hypertension, diabetes, HIV, and depression (p<0.001).
Food insecurity is prevalent and associated with worse control of medical conditions among veterans who have accessed care in the VA.
PMCID: PMC4388224  PMID: 25931630
21.  Gender moderates the relationship between impulsivity and sexual risk-taking in a cocaine-using psychiatric outpatient population 
Adults who abuse substances are at increased risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Within this population, sexual risk behaviors have been associated with increased impulsivity. Studies in non-clinical populations showing gender-related differences in sexual decision-making and casual sexual partnering suggest impulsivity has a greater influence on men than women, but these differences have not been documented in substance-using patients. In a sample of 89 adults with recent cocaine use and receiving outpatient psychiatric treatment, we tested the hypothesis that gender moderates the effect of impulsivity on sexual risk-taking. Using logistic regression modeling, we tested the main and gender-moderated effects of task-related impulsivity on the probability of having a casual sexual partner and multiple sexual partners. Results confirmed a significant gender-by-impulsivity interaction; men who were more impulsive on a continuous performance task had significantly higher rates of sexual risk-taking than less impulsive men, but women's impulsivity was unrelated to these outcomes. Impulsive men were over three times as likely as less impulsive men to have a recent casual partner. Implications of these results and suggestions for future research are discussed.
PMCID: PMC4278375  PMID: 25554716
Impulsivity; Risk; Gender; Psychiatric; Cocaine; HIV
22.  Implementation of integrated stepped care for unhealthy alcohol use in HIV clinics 
Effective counseling and pharmacotherapy for unhealthy alcohol use are rarely provided in HIV treatment settings to patients. Our goal was to describe factors influencing implementation of a stepped care model to address unhealthy alcohol use in HIV clinics from the perspectives of social workers, psychologists and addiction psychiatrists.
We conducted two focus groups with Social Workers (n = 4), Psychologists (n = 2), and Addiction Psychiatrists (n = 4) involved in an ongoing randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of integrated stepped care for unhealthy alcohol use in HIV-infected patients at five Veterans Health Administration (VA) HIV clinics. Data collection and analyses were guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) domains, with a focus on the three domains which we considered to be most relevant: intervention characteristics (i.e. motivational interviewing, pharmacotherapy), the inner setting (i.e. HIV clinics), and characteristics of individuals (i.e. the providers). A multidisciplinary team used directed content analysis to identify major themes.
From the providers’ perspective, the major implementation themes that emerged by CFIR domain included: (1) Intervention characteristics: providers valued tools and processes for facilitating patient motivation for treatment of unhealthy alcohol use given their perceived lack of motivation, but expressed a desire for greater flexibility; (2) Inner setting: treating unhealthy alcohol use in HIV clinics was perceived by providers to be consistent with VA priorities; and (3) Characteristics of individuals: there was high self-efficacy to conduct the intervention, an expressed need for more consistent utilization to maintain skills, and consideration of alternative models for delivering the components of the intervention.
Use of the CFIR framework reveals that implementation of integrated stepped care for unhealthy alcohol use in HIV clinics is facilitated by tools to help providers enhance patient motivation or address unhealthy alcohol use among patients perceived to be unmotivated. Implementation may be facilitated by its consistency with organizational values and existing models of care and attention to optimizing provider self-efficacy and roles (i.e. approaches to treatment integration).
PMCID: PMC4711105  PMID: 26763048
HIV; Alcohol-related disorders; Qualitative methods; Diffusion of innovation
23.  The Impact of Buprenorphine/Naloxone Treatment on HIV Risk Behaviors among HIV-Infected, Opioid-Dependent Patients* 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2014;139:79-85.
Opioid dependence is a major risk factor for HIV infection, however, the impact of buprenorphine/naloxone treatment on HIV risk behaviors among HIV-infected opioid-dependent patients is unknown.
We conducted a longitudinal analysis of 303 HIV-infected opioid-dependent patients initiating buprenorphine/naloxone treatment. Outcomes included self-reported past 90-day needle-sharing and non-condom use. We assessed trends over the 12 months using the Cochran-Armitage trend test. Using Generalized Estimating Equations, after multiple imputation, we determined factors independently associated with needle-sharing and non-condom use, including time-updated variables. We then conducted a mediation analysis to determine whether substance use explained the relationship between time since treatment initiation and needle-sharing.
Needle-sharing decreased from baseline to the fourth quarter following initiation of buprenorphine/naloxone (9% vs. 3%, p<0.001), while non-condom use did not (23% vs. 21%, p=0.10). HIV risk behaviors did not vary based on the presence of a detectable HIV-1 RNA viral load. Patients who were homeless and used heroin, cocaine/amphetamines or marijuana were more likely to report needle-sharing. Heroin use fully mediated the relationship between time since treatment initiation and needle-sharing. Women, patients who identified as being gay/lesbian/bisexual, those married or living with a partner and who reported heroin or alcohol use were more likely to report non-condom use. Older patients were less likely to report non-condom use.
While buprenorphine/naloxone is associated with decreased needle-sharing among HIV-infected opioid-dependent patients, sexual risk behaviors persist regardless of viral load. Targeted interventions to address HIV risk behaviors among HIV-infected opioid-dependent populations receiving buprenorphine/naloxone are needed.
PMCID: PMC4029496  PMID: 24726429
buprenorphine; HIV; opioid-related disorders; risk behaviors
24.  The use of message framing to promote sexual risk reduction in young adolescents: a pilot exploratory study 
Health Education Research  2014;29(2):360-366.
Few studies have explored the application of message framing to promote health behaviors in adolescents. In this exploratory study, we examined young adolescents’ selection of gain- versus loss-framed images and messages when designing an HIV-prevention intervention to promote delayed sexual initiation. Twenty-six adolescents (aged 10–14 years) participated in six focus groups and created and discussed posters to persuade their peers to delay the initiation of sexual activity. Focus groups were audio-recorded and transcribed. A five-person multidisciplinary team analyzed the posters and focus group transcripts using thematic analysis. The majority of the posters (18/26, 69%) contained both gain- and loss-framed content. Of the 93/170 (56%) images and messages with framing, similar proportions were gain- (48/93, 52%) and loss-framed (45/93, 48%). Most gain-framed content (23/48, 48%) focused on academic achievement, whereas loss-framed content focused on pregnancy (20/45, 44%) and HIV/AIDS (14/45, 31%). These preliminary data suggest that young adolescents may prefer a combination of gain- and loss-framing in health materials to promote reduction in sexual risk behaviors.
PMCID: PMC3959207  PMID: 24452229
25.  Gender differences in HIV risk behaviors in individuals recently released from prison: results of a pilot study 
Health & Justice  2015;3:6.
Individuals recently released from prison engage in risky behaviors that predispose them to contracting HIV. Women may be at increased risk in the immediate period post-release, given higher rates of poverty, food insecurity, and substance dependence and lower educational attainment compared with men.
We describe gender differences in HIV risk behaviors using validated measures and assess potential mediators of this relationship using data from a cross-sectional study of 109 individuals recently released from prison.
Women had higher rates of HIV drug-related risk behaviors compared with men (mean score 2.72 vs. 0.068; p = .003) and HIV sex-related risk behaviors (mean score 4.32 vs. 2.31; p = .016). Women also had higher mean incomes and severity of drug and alcohol use compared with men, but equally high rates of food insecurity and low levels of AIDS knowledge. In multivariate analysis, the relationship between gender and HIV drug-related and sex-related risk behaviors was attenuated by a greater monthly income ([drug] adjusted β 0.82, 95% CI -1.02 – 2.66, p = 0.38; [sex] adjusted β 0.75, 95% CI -1.04 – 2.54, p = 0.41), as well as severity of drug use ([drug] adjusted β 0.79, 95% CI -0.55 – 2.13, p = 0.24; [sex] adjusted β 0.09, 95% CI -1.17 – 1.35, p = 0.89).
Women had higher rates of HIV risk behaviors compared with men post-release. Gender specific interventions may be useful in reducing risky drug-related and sex-related behaviors in the period immediately following release.
PMCID: PMC5151802
Prison; Human immunodeficiency virus; Risk behaviors; Incarceration; Gender disparities

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