Predictors of quality of life enjoyment and satisfaction in individuals living with HIV and aids in a resource-constrained setting
Jonas, Ncebakazi Kim
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The burden of HIV disease is concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa (SA) is particularly affected. Whilst there have been many studies conducted on the biomedical and socio-psychological aspects of HIV and AIDS, insufficient attention has been paid to the quality of life of those infected with the virus. The primary purpose of this study was to determine the predictors of quality of life enjoyment and satisfaction (Q-LES) of individuals living with HIV and or AIDS and those on anti-retroviral treatment or being prepared for it. Further, the study determined the relationship between psychological distress and Q-LES of HIV positive individuals because psychological distress is reported to contribute substantially to the burden of the disease in sub-Saharan Africa, including SA. This quantitative study used a battery of questionnaires administered to 121 participants in an out-patient clinic setting. The main hypothesis tested in this study is: psychological distress is a strong predictor of Q-LES. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to screen for psychological distress and the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (Q-LES-Q) to assess the various components of QoL. A purposive sampling strategy was used to recruit participants into the study. Data analysis included descriptive and inferential statistics using SPSS to test the hypothesis. Of the total sample (N=121), 74% were females. The study found that a large proportion (49.5%) of the sample within the age group 25-49 years old had significant presence of psychological distress. Those not on ART yet were significantly affected (66%). The relationship between Q-LES subscales and psychological distress was significant (p< 0.01). The results show that psychological distress was significantly prevalent among HIV positive individuals and it was the strongest predictor of Q-LES among the study participants. Modifying the current psychological intervention programmes, in the public health clinics, for individuals vi infected with the HI virus will assist in improving the current health outcomes and also help to achieve better Quality of Life outcomes.