Psychometric Data Linking Across HIV and Substance Use Cohorts

Benjamin D. Schalet*, Patrick Janulis, Michele D. Kipke, Brian Mustanski, Steven Shoptaw, Richard Moore, Marianna Baum, Soyeon Kim, Suzanne Siminski, Amy Ragsdale, Pamina M. Gorbach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Psychometric data linking of psychological and behavioral questionnaires can facilitate the harmonization of data across HIV and substance use cohorts. Using data from the Collaborating Consortium of Cohorts Producing NIDA Opportunities (C3PNO), we demonstrate how to capitalize on previous linking work with a common linked depression metric across multiple questionnaires. Cohorts were young men who have sex with men (MSM), substance-using MSM, HIV/HCV cocaine users, and HIV-positive patients. We tested for differential item functioning (DIF) by comparing C3PNO cohort data with general population data. We also fit a mixed-effects model for depression, entering HIV-status and recent opioid/heroin use as fixed effects and cohort as a random intercept. Our results suggest a minimal level of DIF between the C3PNO cohorts and general population samples. After linking, descriptive statistics show a wide range of depression score means across cohorts. Our model confirmed an expected positive relationship between substance use and depression, though contrary to expectations, no significant association with HIV status. The study reveals the likely role of cohort differences, associated patient characteristics, study designs, and administration settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3215-3224
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS and behavior
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Depression
  • HIV
  • Harmonization
  • Linking
  • MSM
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Social Psychology


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