, Volume 9, Issue 8, pp 941-949

Health related quality of life among persons with HIV after the use of protease inhibitors

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Objective: This study was conducted to determine the effect of the use of HIV protease inhibitors on the quality of life among persons infected with HIV. Methods: Subjects were participants in the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS Drug Treatment Program who had completed two annual participant surveys, one prior to initiating therapy with a protease inhibitor and one after. Quality of life was measured using the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form Health Survey (MOS-SF). Statistical analyses were conducted using parametric and multivariate methods. Results: Our analysis was based on 179 HIV-positive individuals. Compared to quality of life at baseline, we found no statistically significant changes in the health perception, pain, physical, role and social functioning MOS-SF subscale scores at follow-up. The measure of mental health was the only component to decline significantly over time. Sub-analyses found significant increases in the measures of health perception (p = 0.004), physical (p = 0.037), role (p < 0.001) and social functioning (p = 0.053) for individuals with a low baseline quality of life. For those with a higher quality of life before starting a protease inhibitor containing regimen we observed a significant decline in the subscales of mental health (p = 0.001), physical (p = 0.007), role (p = 0.021) and social functioning (p = 0.003) over the study period. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that despite strict dosage requirements and adverse side effects associated with protease inhibitor use patients are on the whole maintaining their quality of life after starting on a protease inhibitor containing regimen. Continued follow-up of this cohort will be required to determine the long term implications of these observations.

This revised version was published online in June 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.