Chronic HIV infection and health related quality of life in resource poor settings-an assessment from South East Nigeria
Background: Health-related quality of life reflects a patient’s general subjective perception of the effect of an illness or in- tervention on physical, psychological and social aspects of daily life. HIV infection is a major public health problem especially in developing countries where poor health infrastructure and poverty are prevalent. This paper addresses the quality of life in patients with chronic HIV infection in South East Nigeria and addresses issues that may help improve the current situation.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, to assess patients with HIV receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) using a validated structured questionnaire (WHOQoL-BREF). Ethical clearance for the study was obtained. Study period was from October - December, 2017. Data obtained was analysed.
Results: A total of 389 HIV patients consented to the study. Over 70% were aged 18- 45 years and majority were females. Females had a higher quality of life score with respect to the domain of psychological health while males had a higher score with respect to the environmental domain. Older age and presence of co-morbidities were significantly associated with affectation of physical health while younger age was associated with affectation of psychological health domain.
Conclusion: HIV impairs the quality of life for affected individuals in South East Nigeria especially across the domains of physical and psychological health. No age group is spared. The presence of co-morbidities significantly reduces quality of life in these patients. Younger patients may require mental health services in the management of their disease.
Keywords: HIV; quality of life; South East Nigeria.
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