, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 923-933

Assessing a conceptual framework of health-related quality of life in a HIV/AIDS population

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With the recognition of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) as an important outcome in the course of HIV-disease, it is important to gain a better understanding of the complex relationships among the various factors that influence it. This study assesses a conceptual framework of HRQOL, consisting of disease status, socio-economic status (SES), behavioral variables, symptom status, role-specific functional status and HRQOL, among a multiethnic, economically disadvantaged population of individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Self-report data were collected from 348 patients receiving care at a large HIV/AIDS care center, serving residents of a large metropolitan area. The relationships between the study variables were examined using structural equation modeling. Results indicated that the hypothesized framework provided a well-fitted solution to the data, χ 2(44df)=57.62], p = 0.08 and root mean square error of approximation=0.03, 90% confidence interval 0.01; 0.05. This framework suggests that health-related variables fall along a continuum, beginning with disease status and ending in generic HRQOL. In addition, the framework suggests that behavioral factors (i.e., smoking status, alcohol consumption, and illicit drug use) and SES exert significant effects along this continuum and should be carefully considered when analyzing and interpreting HRQOL data.