Ratcliffe, Sarah

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Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    Neurobehavioral Effects in HIV-Positive Individuals Receiving Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) in Gaborone, Botswana
    (2011-02-18) Lawler, Kathy A; Ratcliffe, Sarah; Jeremiah, Kealeboga; Mosepele, Mosepele; Steenhoff, Andrew P; Cherry, Catherine; Seloilwe, Esther
    Objective To explore the prevalence and features of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HANDS) in Botswana, a sub-Saharan country at the center of the HIV epidemic. Design and Methods A cross sectional study of 60 HIV-positive individuals, all receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and 80 demographically matched HIV-seronegative control subjects. We administered a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery and structured psychiatric interview. The lowest 10th percentile of results achieved by control subjects was used to define the lower limit of normal performance on cognitive measures. Subjects who scored abnormal on three or more measures were classified as cognitively impaired. To determine the clinical significance of any cognitive impairment, we assessed medication adherence, employment, and independence in activities of daily living (ADL). Results HIV+ subjects were impaired for all cognitive-motor ability areas compared with matched, uninfected control subjects. Thirty seven percent of HIV+ patients met criteria for cognitive impairment. Conclusion These findings indicate that neurocognitive impairment is likely to be an important feature of HIV infection in resource-limited countries; underscoring the need to develop effective treatments for subjects with, or at risk of developing, cognitive impairment.
  • Publication
    Use of Mobile Telemedicine for Cervical Cancer Screening
    (2011-06-01) Gormley, Rachel H; Ratcliffe, Sarah; Quinley, Kelly E; Steiner, Ann; Ramogola-Masire, Doreen; Kovarik, Carrie; Shih, Ting; Szep, Zsofia
    Visual inspection of the cervix with application of 4% acetic acid (VIA) is an inexpensive alternative to cytology-based screening in areas where resources are limited, such as in many developing countries. We have examined the diagnostic agreement between off-site (remote) expert diagnosis using photographs of the cervix (photographic inspection with acetic acid, PIA) and in-person VIA. The images for remote evaluation were taken with a mobile phone and transmitted by MMS. The study population consisted of 95 HIV-positive women in Gaborone, Botswana. An expert gynaecologist made a definitive positive or negative reading on the PIA results of 64 out of the 95 women whose PIA images were also read by the nurse midwives. The remaining 31 PIA images were deemed insufficient in quality for a reading by the expert gynaecologist. The positive nurse PIA readings were concordant with the positive expert PIA readings in 82% of cases, and the negative PIA readings between the two groups were fully concordant in 89% of cases. These results suggest that mobile telemedicine may be useful to improve access of women in remote areas to cervical cancer screening utilizing the VIA `see-andtreat' method.
  • Publication
    Neurocognitive Impairment Among HIV-Positive Individuals in Botswana: A Pilot Study
    (2010-04-20) Lawler, Kathy; Ratcliffe, Sarah; Mosepele, Mosepele; Seloilwe, Esther; Steenhoff, Andrew P; Steele, Katherine; Nthobatsang, Rudo
    Background The primary objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of neurocognitive impairment among HIV-positive individuals in Botswana, using the International HIV Dementia Scale (IHDS). We also compared performance on the IHDS with performance on tests of verbal learning/memory and processing speed, and investigated the association between performance on the IHDS and such variables as depression, age, level of education and CD4 count. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study of 120 HIV-positive individuals randomly selected from an outpatient HIV clinic in Gaborone, Botswana. Patients provided a detailed clinical history and underwent neuropsychological testing; measures of depression, daily activities and subjective cognitive complaints were recorded. Results Despite the fact that 97.5% of subjects were receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), 38% met criteria for dementia on the IHDS, and 24% were diagnosed with major depressive disorder. There was a significant association between neurocognitive impairment as measured by the IHDS and performance on the other two cognitive measures of verbal learning/memory and processing speed. Level of education significantly affected performance on all three cognitive measures, and age affected processing speed and performance on the IHDS. Depression and current CD4 count did not affect performance on any of the cognitive measures. Conclusions The prevalence of neurocognitive impairment in HIV-positive individuals in Botswana is higher than expected, especially since almost all of the subjects in this study were prescribed HAART. This suggests the need to reconsider the timing of introduction of antiretroviral therapy in developing countries where HAART is generally not administered until the CD4 cell count has dropped to 200/mm3 or below. The contribution of other factors should also be considered, such as poor central nervous system penetration of some antiretrovirals, drug resistance, potential neurotoxicity, and co-morbidities. Memory impairment and poor judgment may be underlying causes for behaviours that contribute to the spread of HIV and to poor adherence. It is important to identify these neurobehavioural complications of HIV so that effective treatments can be developed.