Methods: The SSCI-8 scale, also known as the NeuroQOL-Stigma, is an 8-item patient reported outcome (PRO) instrument validated in the NIH PROMIS collaboration. Of the SSCI-8 items, 6 are associated with ExpSt and 2 with IntSt. The SSCI-8 was administered to 1602 participants with HCV infection at the baseline visit of the PROP UP Study, an investigation of PRO before, during, and after HCV therapy. The subscores (ExpSt and IntSt) were each examined for association with demographic factors (DF: age, birth sex, race, educational level, household income, marital status, and employment status). Multivariate linear regression, adjusting for DF, was used to evaluate correlation of ExpSt and IntSt to PRO measures tapping mental health constructs (depression, anxiety, anger, fatigue, and sleep disturbance) and overall HCV-specific HRQOL (the HCV-PRO scale).
Results: Of the 1602 participants receiving the baseline survey, 1300 answered all 8 stigma items; of this subset, less than 10 had missing data for any other individual question studied. IntSt items were endorsed more frequently (55.8% at least 1 of 2) than ExpSt items (38.8% at least 1 of 6; p<0.001). In multivariable analyses, ExpSt was independently correlated with age, marital status, and employment status; and IntSt with all DF except education. After adjusting for DF, IntSt, but not ExpSt, independently predicted depression (β=2.2), anxiety (β=2.1), anger (β=1.9), fatigue (β=2.0), sleep disturbance (β=1.6), and HRQOL (β=-6.1; all p<0.001).
Conclusion: In persons living with HCV, IntSt (but not ExpSt) is correlated with multiple PRO measures of psychological state and HRQOL.
D. Evon, Gilead: Investigator , Research support .