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July 18, 1990

Does HIV Testing Raise Levels of Suicidal Ideation?-Reply

Author Affiliations

Cornell University Medical Center New York, NY

Cornell University Medical Center New York, NY

JAMA. 1990;264(3):338. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450030053029

In Reply.—  We appreciate the two criticisms raised by Drs Neugebauer and Johnson because they provide an opportunity to correct common misunderstandings.In regards to retest artifact, our colleagues are refuted by the very study they cite,1 which extensively examined measures that assess psychiatric symptoms and found that retest artifact is confined to only a few orally administered measures and is not present at all on self-report scales such as the standardized measure we used.2In regards to the second criticism, "regression to the mean" is a consequence of choosing to predict a linear regression by using the criterion of least squares.3 However, our colleagues remind us of four ways this mathematical concept can be misapplied. First, it is not relevant in every longitudinal study. For example, if we found that the mean height of 20 subjects was 6.3 ft, we would not expect that their