Quality of Life Research

, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 2473–2479 | Cite as

Assessing quality of life in middle-aged and older adults with HIV: psychometric testing of the WHOQOL-HIV-Bref

  • Marco Pereira
  • Alexandra Martins
  • Stephanie Alves
  • Maria Cristina Canavarro
Brief Communication



The aim of this study was to test the psychometric properties of the World Health Organization quality of life in HIV infection, abbreviated version (WHOQOL-HIV-Bref) in a sample of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients aged 50 years and older.


The sample consisted of 185 patients, recruited in the main departments of infectious diseases of 10 Portuguese hospitals. In addition to the WHOQOL-HIV-Bref, patients also completed the brief symptom inventory, a self-report questionnaire for measuring psychopathological symptoms.


The European Portuguese version of WHOQOL-HIV-Bref showed acceptable reliability (Cronbach’s alpha range 0.65–0.86 across domains). Confirmatory factor analysis corroborated the original six-domain structure. Convergent validity with depressive and psychopathological symptoms was satisfactory for all domains. Overall quality of life (QoL), physical and independence domains discriminated well subjects considering the HIV stage. None of the domains were significantly different according to CD4+ T cell count subgroups.


These results offer promising support for the use of the WHOQOL-HIV-Bref as a measure of QoL among HIV-infected patients aged 50 years and older. Its briefness and multidimensionality allow a more practical and comprehensive assessment of QoL, both on clinical and research settings.


HIV infection Middle-aged and older adults Quality of life Reliability Validity 



Brief symptom inventory


Confirmatory factor analysis


Comparative fit index


Human immunodeficiency virus


Quality of life


Root mean square error of approximation


World Health Organization


World Health Organization quality of life in HIV infection, abbreviated version



This study was supported by Coordenação Nacional para a Infecção VIH/sida (Ref. 5-1.8.4/2007) and was developed within the research line “Relationships, Development and Health”, of the R&D Unit of the Institute of Cognitive Psychology, Vocational and Social Development of the University of Coimbra (PEst-OE/PSI/UI0192/2011). Marco Pereira is supported by a Post-doctoral Scholarship from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (SFRH/BPD/44435/2008)

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest with their funding bodies.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Pereira
    • 1
  • Alexandra Martins
    • 1
  • Stephanie Alves
    • 1
  • Maria Cristina Canavarro
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculdade de Psicologia e Ciências da EducaçãoUniversidade de CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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